SASKATOON -- As provinces across Canada grapple with a second wave of COVID-19, Saskatchewan's top doctor says a recent surge in cases may actually be the first wave in this province.

"It is a bit different from the previous peaks that we've seen and now our peak is getting higher, so I would actually argue that this is our first true wave and this our first true test in terms of as a province actually turning this around," Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said during a news conference Tuesday in Regina.

"I think we did really well, working very hard and when we had localized outbreaks we've done really well, in Yorkon for example, but this is a bit broader and I think that's why all of us need to pull together and practice all the layers of protection more consistently."

The statement came the same day the province announced mandatory masking in public places in Saskatchewan's three largest cities and lowered the limit on indoor gathering size to 10 people.

There were 842 known active cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon, with 270 concentrated in the Saskatoon area, 152 in the Regina area and 172 in the health authority's North Central reporting region, which includes Prince Albert.