ALL IN THE SAME TACO BOAT – Sitkans, many wearing face masks, line up this afternoon at the Sitka Elks Lodge food booth. With the pandemic, most of this year’s Sitka Independence Day events have been modified, but not entirely canceled. The American Legion and Sizzling Chow Cuisine also will have outdoor food booths. While there’s no downtown parade, there is a parade of classic cars that will tour Sitka streets beginning at 1 p.m. at Whale Park. A sing-along and military salute will take place on Totem Square 7 p.m. Friday and a fireworks display will take place 11:30 Friday night over Sitka Channel, with spectators asked to follow social distancing recommendations. The Rotary Club is holding its annual Duck Race on the fourth. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

March 23, 2020, Community Happenings

Park Restrooms

Currently Closed

The restroom facilities within Sitka National Historical Park are closed.

The park is taking this action in support of the recommendation from the Sitka Emergency Unified Command to close non-essential businesses.  The notice will be updated when circumstances change, the park service said today in a press release.

The closure includes the public restrooms at the visitor center, as well as the outdoor restroom located east of the footbridge within the park.

‘‘We apologize for the inconvenience, but take this action to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19,’’ the park said.  


AA Groups


Until further notice, AA groups meeting at noon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Sitka Lutheran Church are temporarily suspended, due to concerns about COVID-19 and social distancing.

Also, AA Rectory groups meeting Thursday and Sunday evenings have been postponed. 


BIHA Board

Meets Wednesday

Baranof Island Housing Authority board of commissioners will meet 5 p.m. March 25 at 245 Katlian Street.

The meeting is closed to the public.


SSD Offers Meal

Distribution Plans 

The Sitka School District is offering free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch daily during the school closure.

Students may pick up their meals 8 a.m.-noon at Sitka High School. All families with an economic need are being encouraged to participate.

All SSD students, and any additional youth 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 an SSD student lives in the same household, the school district said in a press release. 

Meals will be served drive-up style. More sites may be added as needed, and limited delivery will be available to households which 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, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Those who have indicated an inability to pick meals up will be contacted regarding delivery. 

The survey also asks for information about access to technology and school supplies, in case there is an extended closure. 

The district thanked the staff of NANA Management Services and Prewitt’s Bus Company for their efforts in making this program possible at such short notice. 

For information about the meal program, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Closure Listed

The UAS-Sitka Campus is closed until further notice.

Campus employees are still checking emails and answering phone calls, and are available to help individuals.

‘‘Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns,’’ UAS said in a press release.


Public Library

Updates Info

The Sitka Public Library building is closed until further notice. No late fees will be charged and no items are due during the closure.

Patrons can return items in the book drop if they choose. Online services are available to all cardholders.

 Call 747-4020 or 747-4021 with questions. 


Alaska Scholarship,


Waived by State

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development have waived the ACT and SAT requirement for Alaska Performance Scholarship eligibility for Alaska high school graduates from the spring 2020 class.

The decision to waive the ACT and SAT requirement for APS eligibility was made as a result of detailed analysis and to support students and schools in response to the nationwide cancellation of ACT and SAT test administrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release said today.

Additional information regarding APS eligibility requirements, in light of this decision, is forthcoming and will be posted at, and ( and provided to school districts and postsecondary institutions across Alaska as it becomes available,  ACPE said in a press release today.


Soup Kitchens

Get Updated

Sitka Soup Kitchens locations and hours have been updated as of today:

–11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Salvation Army, 405 Sawmill Creek Road;

–11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, St. Gregory’s Catholic Church, 605 Lincoln Street.

–12:30-1:30 p.m. Sundays, Sitka Lutheran Church, 224 Lincoln Street.

All meals are being offered to go.

Soup kitchens are a shared ministry of Sitka Lutheran Church, St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Sitka Seventh-day Adventist Church, Sitka United Methodist Church and St. Gregory’s Catholic Church.


The RIDE Bus

Service Stopped

The RIDE bus service today suspended service in Sitka.

It was suspended in compliance with both the City of Sitka and the governor of Alaska’s joint recommendation under the ‘‘state of emergency to shelter in place’’ until the emergency is lifted.




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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-2-20)

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 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Monday: 39

Total statewide – 1,017

Total (cumulative) deaths – 14

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (6 resident; 2 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 10 (7 resident; 3 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 68.

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 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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