Mayor Rick Herrick tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and became Big Bear Lake's first confirmed case Saturday.
"The time has come to announce that we have the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley," the mayor said in a statement. "I was tested after a week of self-quarantine following what has felt like a bout with the flu. The results concluded that I’ve contracted the coronavirus, the first confirmed case in Big Bear. This is not the announcement that I imagined, but I hope that by going public on what is normally a private, HIPAA-type subject can be a learning moment for our tight-knit community."
Herrick was tested on Thursday and results confirmed the virus Friday evening, according to a statement. The mayor was doing "reasonably well" and as expected to full recover.
"A week ago, when the first twinge of illness struck me, I followed orders and stayed at home," Herrick said in a statement. "Although this was not fun or easy, I knew that I was fighting something off and I didn’t need to expose myself to others regardless of the illness. So I worked from home and kept my distance from my wife, frequently washed my hands, used sanitation wipes and hand sanitizer, all while remaining in self-quarantine. My symptoms have been relatively mild. I had a waning, low-grade fever, some chest pressure, achiness, and fatigue. It was like the flu but very different at the same time. I’m sure that this novel coronavirus is being carefully studied for cures and patterns, and that the medical world will learn a lot as more data streams in.
"The message I need to convey is to heed the warnings from the World Health Organization as well as from our local public health officials. I am proud to say that our City has been proactive along with our County and State. With that said, it is obvious that this virus is very new and very contagious. Please remember that it’s never too late to protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, and our community."