PERFECT WEATHER – Surfers assess the waves at Sandy Beach this morning. Waves were between 14- and 20-feet today. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Returning Sitkan Told He’s Positive for Virus

By Sentinel Staff

Sitka received a new positive COVID-19 test result Wednesday, Public Health officials said today.

That brings Sitka’s cumulative positive test count to 12 – nine resident cases and three nonresident cases.

Unified Command lists nine cases as “recovered.”

The State of Alaska is reporting 792 cumulative cases statewide.

A news release from Sitka’s Unified Command said the latest confirmed case is a Sitka man, age 40-49, who received COVID-19 testing out of state on June 20, 72 hours prior to flying to Sitka. He is asymptomatic and recovering in Sitka, the Public Health Nurse Denise Ewing said.

Public Health officials have initiated contact investigations and will notify and isolate additional people who may have been in contact with these individuals, as appropriate.

Unified Command issued reminders about following precautions.

“If you are sick with the (coronavirus), a Public Health official will call you to check on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with and ask you to stay at home to self-isolate for 14 days,” the officials said.

This information is collected for health purposes only and won’t be shared with any other agencies, such as  law enforcement or immigration.

“Your name will not be revealed to those you came in contact with, unless you give permission,” the press release said. “If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, a Public Health Official will call you to inform you that you’ve been exposed and ask you to stay at home and self-quarantine.

“Staying at home helps keep you, your family, and your community safe. Do your part to keep your family and your community safe from COVID-19.”

Sitka Unified Command is urging citizens to adhere to all state mandates and to remain diligent and practice the health measures listed in recent weeks and months: wash hands often, avoid close contact with others and keep social circles small, stay home if feeling ill, wear a face covering when around others, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the flu – fever, aching, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and sometimes decreased sense of taste and smell.

“If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus contact the COVID hotline at 966.8799 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” the officials advised.

Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at (800) 613–0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse.

Additional information on COVID-19 is available through the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) at and SEARHC at

“If you are not sick, please continue to take precautionary measures to stay healthy,” the officials advised.

– Get your flu shot. The flu shot will not prevent COVID-19 but will help prevent getting sick and reduce the workload on the healthcare system.

– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick, put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home, do not gather in groups and minimize your actions with others, stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings, and keep your social circle small.

– Stay home if you feel ill, and always cover coughs and sneezes.

– Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily (e.g. phones, tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).

– Wear a face covering, in particular in public settings. For more information on cloth face coverings visit

Residents are encouraged to prepare for any local emergency by ensuring each family member has a 14- day emergency supply kit, including any necessary medications.


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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 11-24-20)

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 12:25 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 578

Total statewide – 27,669

Total (cumulative) deaths – 115

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 619

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Active cases in Sitka – 29

Hospitalizations in Sitka – 3

Cumulative Sitka cases – 176 (155 resident; 21 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 147 cumulative

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.




November 2000

Photo caption: A painting by the late Dr. Walt Massey hangs on the wall of the Pioneers Home dining room,. bringing smiles from home administrator Julie Smith and Massey’s son Brian and daughter-in-law Amy, the home’s dietary manager. The painting of early-day Sitka was done in 1971, the year Dr. Massey, an optometrist and artist, died. It originally hung in the Canoe Club and was given by the restaurant’s owner, Frank Richards, to local historian Joe Ashby, who gave it to the Pioneers Home.

November 1970

Photo  caption: Sitka High School band director James Hope receives a check for $2,000 from American Legion Post 13 Commander Carroll Kohler. The Legion had voted to contribute $1,000 for uniforms and the Auxiliary voted to match that amount. The check was presented at the Legion’s Veterans Day banquet.