OPEN AIR CONCERT – From left, musicians Ross Venneberg, Brian Neal, Wade Demmert and Roger Schmidt perform an outdoor brass concert for residents of the Pioneers Home Monday. The professional musicians, who are hunkered down in Sitka, are regulars at the annual Holiday Brass Concert. The Pioneers Home has been closed to visitors during the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Senate Leaders Issue Statement on Virus

    Sitka Sen. Bert Stedman and two other leaders in the State Senate issued the following statement today:

Fellow Alaskans,
    The hard-working men and women of this state will not weather this storm alone.
    With a singular focus, the Legislature is exploring every avenue and will dedicate vast resources to support Alaskans during this difficult time.
    This support features enhanced unemployment benefits, mortgage assistance, food aid, interest free loans, expanded child and healthcare services, direct aid to communities, and more.
    No Alaskan in need will be left behind.
    As our nation mobilizes against the coronavirus pandemic, and our leaders enact stringent, life-saving measures, we know that everyday Alaskans are suffering from the economic fallout.
    We see this global conflict being fought daily by dedicated nurses, doctors and scientist, as well as Americans engaged in best practices, such as hand washing and social distancing. But a second front exists, one involving paychecks and jobs.
    This virus has wreaked havoc on the price of oil, the stock market is in retreat, and now countless workers will go without paychecks as business owners are forced to close. The uncertainty of the next weeks and months will only compound the harm to the private sector of our economy. Without a swift response, this virus could cause long-term damage beyond the health impacts.
    Lawmakers are keenly aware of these realities, and Alaskans should rest assured that we are taking action. A bipartisan group of legislators will, in the coming days, provide critical aid to Alaskan workers and business owners. Hard-working men and women – who through no fault of their own are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table – will have a helping hand.
    These are extraordinary times, and extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
    If we act decisively – and with the help and support of the Alaskan people – we can achieve success on both fronts by ensuring our healthcare professionals are not overwhelmed by the spread of this virus and by alleviating the impacts on everyday Alaskans’ pocketbooks.
    During these present difficulties, it’s important we remain calm, listen to the advice of our medical professionals, and do what we can to help our fellow Alaskans.
    Help is on the way. 
   
Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner
Senator Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
Senator Natasha von Imhof, R-Anchorage, co-chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-7-20)

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 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Sunday: 19

Total statewide – 1,184

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (3 resident; 5 non-resident)

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 78.

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

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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

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

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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