Since July 1, there have been 29 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Big Bear Valley. While the percentage of new cases in the past 20 days is small, it is still cause for concern. Not enough to change course, said Frank Rush, Big Bear Lake city manager.

Rush said the newest numbers, which show a cumulative total for Big Bear of 43 positive cases, most likely don’t include the July 4 holiday. He said it’s probably a little early for any possible new cases to be accounted for just yet. The increase following the Memorial Day holiday weekend didn’t begin to appear until late June and early July.

Rush said he is seeing more people in Big Bear wearing masks. Asked if there is any thought to implementing a consequence for not wearing a mask such as a fine like other Southland cities have done, Rush said not at this point. The city of Big Bear Lake is focused on education versus fines, he said.

As the case count increases, The Grizzly has received comments on stories suggesting the Valley’s leaders, merchants and those marketing the Valley are more interested in the money than the safety of the residents. Michael Perry, interim CEO of Visit Big Bear, which is tasked with marketing Big Bear, said the concern about the increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in Big Bear is warranted. This disease can’t be taken lightly, Perry said.

When cases stabilized and hospitalizations were down and things started opening, Perry said most people thought that the trend would remain that way. But that clearly hasn’t happened. The concern to keep employees, residents and visitors safe is real, he said.

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