Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical director for the Department of Health and Social Services announced in a press conference this afternoon that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alaska has increased to 12 with two new confirmed cases today. The new cases are in Fairbanks and Ketchikan, both communities that have previously reported active cases.

The case in Fairbanks is under investigation as to the type of transmission, the Ketchikan cases is confirmed to be travel related. Still no cases have been reported in Delta Junction.

To help improve testing, two new machines have been approved for testing and will soon be available.

The state has advised against all out of state travel and asked individuals to restrict local movement as well. Additional travel restrictions are also being considered.

A mandate issued today, which goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, requires all personal care business to cease operation. This includes hair salons, massage facilities, tattoo facilities, nail salons, and other similar businesses. No gatherings are allowed of more than 10 people and they must be able to remain more than six feet apart.

Public and private schools are closed through May 1, 2020. Instruction will be through online services.

Additional updates and details will be made available shortly

Michael Paschall is the editor and publisher of Delta Wind and can be reached at