PHONING IT IN – Lisa Langenfeld, court reporter, is pictured alone inside the Sitka Courthouse Tuesday as judge lawyers and others speak remotely over the audio system. A sign posted on the door says,  "Effective Immediately TELEPHONIC PARTICIPATION ONLY FOR ALL HEARINGS. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Free Lunch Distributed

By Sentinel Staff
    Breakfast and lunch meal distributions to district students will start Monday, the Sitka School District has announced.
    The following message was sent out:
    “The Sitka School District will offer FREE grab-and-go breakfast and lunch daily during the school closure, starting Monday, March 23,” the district stated in a public message. “Students may pick up their meals at Sitka High School from 8 a.m. to noon. All families with an economic need are encouraged to participate.”
    All district students, and any additional youths under the age of 19 in the same household, can get meals. This includes children too young to be enrolled in school or who are enrolled in private school or another district, as long as a district student lives in the same household, the message said.
    “Meals will be served drive-up style,” the district said. More sites may be added as needed, and limited delivery will be available to households who are under quarantine or who lack transportation.
    “Families can sign up for meals by completing a short survey online or by calling the District Office at 747-8622 from 8 to 4 p.m.,” the message said.
    “Please note previous PSAs included the wrong number. If you left a message before, please call again.,” the message emphasized.
    Those who indicate an inability to pick up meals will be contacted Monday regarding delivery.
The survey also asks for information about access to technology and school supplies, in case there is an extended closure.
    “SSD extends sincerest appreciation to the staff of NANA Management Services and Prewitt’s Bus Company for their efforts in making this program possible at such short notice,” the district said. 
    For questions regarding the meal program, the public may email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 4-1-20)

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 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

The list includes the total cases (and what portions are travel and non-travel-related or still being investigated):

 Total - 143 (40, 103)

 Anchorage area – 67 (24, 43)

 Homer – 2 (1, 1)

 Kenai – 1 (1, 0)

 Seward – 1 (1, 0)

 Soldotna – 2 (1, 1)

 Sterling – 2 (0, 2)

 Fairbanks area – 40 (7, 33)

 Mat-Su – 4 (2, 2)

 Juneau – 10 (1, 9)

 Ketchikan – 14 (2, 12)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is nine, and the cumulative number of deaths is three.



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 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.