When Big Bear, along with the rest of California, went into safer at home mode in March, no one thought by Memorial Day weekend, they would still be at home trying to battle COVID-19. And now there is an internal war as communities struggle to survive economically.

Is it time to open or is it too soon? That question has plagued local leaders for the past several weeks. The answers are elusive and with so much surrounding the coronavirus changing daily, finding the right answer becomes more difficult by the day.

The city of Big Bear Lake developed a plan to safely and responsibly re-open businesses and get the cash registers ringing again. The plan includes guidelines for keeping the residents, visitors, business owners and employees safe all while keeping a close eye on COVID-19 statistics. San Bernardino County has a similar plan, and Governor Gavin Newsom has his own plan, offering “empowerment” to counties to create their own plans and begin opening more businesses.

Big Bear Lake Mayor Rick Herrick said the hope for the city is to get businesses open very soon. “I think all businesses are essential,” Herrick said.

Newsom early on listed which businesses are essential and could stay open. Those included grocery stores, hardware stores, healthcare facilities and auto mechanic shops, among others. Retail, restaurants, salons, gyms, hotels and entertainment venues were shut down and shuttered. The goal was to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.

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(1) comment


The following things concern me about the proposed plan:

(1) I'd like to see a 25% opening for several weeks with testing before jumping to 50%.

(2) I'd like to see overnight lodging and short-term rentals remain closed during the 25% and 50% opening of other businesses phase. Big Bear has done a careful job in terms of mitigation. I worry about inviting people from more high risk populations into Big Bear at this time. I'd like to see businesses successfully open up to serve the locals successfully first.

(3) What is the potential liability to business and the city of Big Bear is businesses open up in defiance of the county/state?

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