NEW TRAIL – Asa Dow wears a mask as he cuts a branch placed at the exit of the new 907 single-track mountain bike trail loop off the Sitka Cross Trail to officially open the trail Monday afternoon. Dow was one of about a dozen volunteers who built the trail, the first of its type in Sitka. The single-lane trail is exclusively for bikers and runs south to north. The Sitka Cycling Club, which organized the construction, will be building a second bicycle trail off the Cross Trail. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Welcome to Sitka: You’re Quarantined

Sentinel Staff Writer

City staff and other community volunteers, wearing protective gear, were in the Sitka airport terminal Thursday and today, handing out COVID-19 information leaflets to arriving airline passengers.

The forms include information on the state mandate requiring passengers from out of state to self- quarantine for 14 days after arrival. The state also recommends those arriving from communities within the state where COVID has been confirmed to quarantine themselves.

The information handed out includes a link to ready.alaska.gov/form where travelers from outside the state can provide their travel history, as required.

“We’re urging people to comply with the requirements; this is critical in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the state and in our community,” said Sara Peterson, city clerk and public information officer during the COVID pandemic. “We want citizens to comply with it; it’s important.”

She noted the pandemic situation is changing by the day, with new cases reported and the prospect of new regulations.

“We may see more of those this evening from the governor,” Peterson said, referring to a 5 p.m. press conference planned by Gov. Dunleavy.

Assembly member Thor Christianson, an EMT III volunteer at the fire hall, said there were only about 11 arriving passengers on this morning’s Alaska Airlines flight, and none of them seemed surprised to be receiving the handouts he gave them.

“It was pretty much little to no surprise,” he said. “I would be surprised if everybody didn’t know (the requirements). ... It was a little weird standing there with a face mask and gloves meeting people.”

Fire Chief Dave Miller, the city’s emergency manager, said he appreciates those who are volunteering to hand out the flyers to help the community prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“One of the ways we can help prevent the spread of the virus is by social distancing and hunkering down,” he said.



Assembly member Thor Christianson hands out fliers to people arriving at the Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport today. The COVID-19 warning is reprinted on Page 8. (Photo provided by Dave Miller)


The city is providing training on how to put on and take off the protective equipment, which includes eye protection, face mask and gloves.

“There’s quite a few people who have stepped up to volunteer in different ways,” the chief said.

The travel form says:

“Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the high incidence of travel-related infection, the State of Alaska has instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all incoming passengers. The potential for widespread transmission of COVID-19 by infected individuals entering Alaska threatens the health and well-being of Alaskans, as well as the infrastructure and security of the state. In an abundance of caution and to assist in flattening the curve regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Alaska, the State of Alaska, under its authority to protect the public health, is implementing advanced protocols to ensure all travelers arriving in Alaska participate in 14 consecutive days of self-quarantine to begin immediately upon arrival, allowing for travel from an airport or portage to the designated quarantine location.”

Travelers can fill in previous destinations and sign it electronically.

The other sheet of paper given to travelers is from the state Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, with links to the Centers for Disease Control and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services websites.

“If you get sick within two weeks of arriving in Alaska, please seek medical advice as soon as you can,” it says. “If you have one, call your health provider. If you don’t know a provider, call 211.”

The flyer also says:

– stay home for 14 days and remain out of public places; don’t go to work, school or child care.

– check yourself for a fever (100.4 or greater) in the morning and evening, and remain alert for cough or shortness of breath.

– if you develop symptoms, notify your health provider.

“If you are seeking care, notify your health provider if you have any of the following symptoms: a fever of 100.4 or greater, cough or shortness of breath,” the ADHSS flyer says. “Contact your health provider BEFORE YOU GO IN. It is important you tell the provider’s office that you have traveled outside Alaska recently.”






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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-3-20)

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 11:10 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 18

Total statewide – 505

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 47, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

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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