EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Face Coverings a Must in City Facilities

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer

Citing an increase in COVID-19 cases in the state and across the country, City Administrator John Leach issued a requirement Monday that face coverings be worn in all city facilities “if social distancing of at least six feet or more between individuals cannot be maintained.”

“This applies to entryways, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and personal offices where a six-foot distance cannot be exercised,” Leach said in the public service announcement.

“The decision to move forward with a policy for city buildings came from a discussion at the Emergency Operations Center meeting (Monday) morning,” Leach said today. He added, “We’re in 100 percent alignment with the governor’s policy on state buildings.”

Gov. Dunleavy announced last week that visitors and workers in state buildings must wear face masks or coverings if a six-foot distance can’t be maintained.

Leach said today, “We’re listening to employee concerns, we’re listening to citizen concerns. Just as any business has a right to require masks in their buildings we’re going to ask citizens to also abide by that policy when they come into city hall.”

Kasiana Pittser comes out the front door of city hall this afternoon. A new policy requiring people to wear face masks while in the building went into effect Monday. (Sentinel Photo)

In Sitka, Leach said in the announcement, “effective immediately, all employees, contractors, and visitors to City and Borough of Sitka facilities must wear a face mask or face covering if social distancing of at least six feet or more between individuals cannot be maintained.”

Monday’s city hall announcement said those with city business are “strongly encouraged” to contact staff by email or phone, or use the city webpage.

“Although wearing a face covering is a tool to assist with minimizing the spread of COVID-19, it is no substitute for proper handwashing, hygiene, and practicing social distancing of at least six feet between you and others,” the announcement said. “While our actions may not eliminate the virus, these actions will help reduce the spread of the virus to others. Your actions matter. Let’s all work together to keep Sitkans healthy and our community strong.”

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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 8-7-20)

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 11:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 53

Total statewide – 3,536

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (14 resident; 6 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 141.

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

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 

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20 YEARS AGO
August 2000

High prices for chum salmon, low pink returns, and record numbers of fish in Deep Inlet have turned the Sitka fishing grounds into Route 66 this summer. “Overall it’s been a fantastic season so far,” said Steve Reifenstuhl, operations manager for the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

50 YEARS AGO
August 1970

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will head a gathering of Orthodox prelates from North American and abroad in ceremonies canonizing the first American Orthodox saints, Father Herman of Alaska. A group of Sitkans will fly to Kodiak for the event.

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