Big Bear Lake COVID-19 testing, April 17, 2020

Motorists line up at the Big Bear Lake COVID-19 testing location on Fox Farm Road April 17. The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health had 150 appointments to process.

The news is good, and better than anyone hoped for or expected. Of the 200-plus people tested for COVID-19 at the Big Bear Lake test site April 17, only one tested positive.

It was learned late yesterday that there was one positive result, but it wasn’t known until today that the positive case is a resident of the city of Big Bear Lake. There are now seven positive cases reported in Big Bear, five in the city and two in the unincorporated area of the Valley.

Big Bear Lake’s city manager, the mayor and other officials said they expected there would be an increase of positive cases in the Valley when the drive-thru specimen results were released. Based on percentages that show about 10 percent of those tested are positive for COVID-19, officials were hopeful for that or fewer. At 10 percent that would be approximately 23 cases. The one positive case is well below what was thought could happen.

In San Bernardino County, the number of positive results continues to rise now totaling 1,608. The death toll is 77 for the county. There have been no deaths in Big Bear related to the corornavirus.

San Bernardino County officials announced yesterday that it would be relaxing restrictions on passive recreation in the county. County parks, lakes, trails and golf courses will be opening Saturday, April 25, with some limitations. Social distancing and face coverings will be required. Picnic shelters and playgrounds, as well as skate parks will remain closed. The openings include parks in Big Bear, including the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District’s two dog parks.

City and privately owned recreation facilities will be allowed to open if they so choose as long as compliance with social distancing and face coverings is maintained. City of Big Bear Lake parks and parking lots were opened today in reaction to the county’s action. It’s unknown at this time whether Bear Mountain Golf Course will open.

Large gatherings are prohibited, and outings are limited to immediate family members only living in the same household. All facilities that open to the public must add signage advising visitors that social distancing and face coverings are required. Restrooms will remain closed.

County officials also ask that the stay-at-home order be adhered to in terms of using recreation sites within the community where you reside. Lodging facilities in Big Bear remain closed, including short-term rentals, through May 8.

Operators of recreational areas, including golf courses, shall monitor activity and advise those who are not complying with safe practices to do so. If compliance cannot be achieved, facilities will be closed. If widespread noncompliance occurs, the passive recreation allowance will be rescinded countywide.

(1) comment


The only people who will get tested are those who have some reason to believe they may have been exposed. If you have no reason to believe you might be positive, you won't go out to get a test. This is anything but a random sample, & there is enough bias in this sample to make any extrapolations based on it meaningless.

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