FULL FIELD – Bathtub toy ducks float down Granite Creek toward a finish line at Halibut Point Recreation Area Saturday afternoon during the annual Sitka Rotary Club duck race. First place, two Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets, were won by Ron and Leah Kari. This year all 3,500 ducks were sold by June 14. Money raised at the event is donated to dozens of Sitka non-profits. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Alaska Reports Its 1st Case of Vaping Injury

Associated Press
    ANCHORAGE (AP) — Alaska’s first confirmed vaping injury case is a teenager who is recovering in a hospital, state officials said today.
    Until the announcement, Alaska was the only state without a vaping injury or death linked to e-cigarettes or THC products.
    The teenager regularly vaped nicotine, as well as THC products that originated in the Lower 48, state epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin said.
    “This case really underscores that Alaska in not insulated from this nationwide outbreak,” he said. “We’re concerned we will see additional cases.”
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 2,290 lung-injury cases were reported as of Nov. 20 in 49 states, two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
    A total of 47 vaping deaths have been confirmed, the agency said.
    The Alaska teen was hospitalized Thanksgiving Day, said McLaughlin, declining to release the teenager’s name.
    The otherwise healthy teen complained of symptoms that included shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after developing a cough in early November.
    The teenager was initially given antibiotics, but the teen’s condition grew worse and led to hospitalization.
    “Fortunately, this patient is recovering and hopefully will be discharged from the hospital soon,” McLaughlin said.
    Symptoms of vaping illness can be similar to the flu, McLaughlin said.
    The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services previously investigated nine suspected lung-injury cases over the past several months.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-6-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 1:25 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 28

Total statewide – 1,166

Total (cumulative) deaths – 16

Active cases in Sitka – 6 (3 resident; 3 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 12 (10 resident; 2 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 74.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.



Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website sitkasentinel.com. Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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