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A pedestrian walks by a building that features encouraging signs in downtown Regina on Dec. 9, 2020.Michael Bell/The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan is reporting 247 new cases of COVID-19.

Health officials say there are 205 people in hospital and 36 of them are receiving intensive care.

Two more residents who were 80 or older have died, bringing the death toll from the pandemic to 206 – 51 of those since the start of January.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says Saskatchewan has the highest rate in the country of active cases per 100,000 people.

Premier Scott Moe says he believes gatherings over the holidays are behind the recent spike in infections.

His Saskatchewan Party government has extended existing public-health measures for another two weeks, but has not tightened them in the hope that numbers will start to go down.

Health officials say the province’s seven-day average of new daily cases sits at 316.

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