SASKATOON -- Saskatchewan continues to lead the country in the number of active cases per 100,000, according to Health Canada.

As of Jan. 18, Saskatchewan reportedly has 363 active cases per 100,000 population. That’s almost 100 more than Alberta, which holds the second spot with 273 per 100,000.

At a news conference on Jan. 13, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said the steady increase in new infections was the result of people choosing to disobey the holiday gathering restrictions, holding large gatherings and parties rather than keeping to only their households.

“Unfortunately we’re seeing importation to schools because certain households decided to have large gatherings. We’re also seeing importations to certain workplaces,” Shahab said last week.

The increase in new infections and deaths prompted the province to extend the current public restrictions until Jan. 29.

According to data collected by a Saskatoon-based market research firm, some admitted to intentionally planning to not follow the guidelines which restrict gatherings to immediate households

Since March 27, 2020 Insightrix Research Inc., has been collecting data from Saskatchewan residents measuring how the public is feeling about the pandemic, measuring stress levels, feeling of mental health and also measuring how many people are following the provincial orders.

In its Dec. 18 barometer check, Insightrix surveyed 400 Sask. residents on its consumer panel. The results show 10 per cent of those surveyed said they did not plan on complying with the provincial health orders during Christmas.

In its latest barometer check on Jan. 8, Insightrix found 19 per cent of those surveyed between the ages of 18 to 34 said they did not comply with the health orders post-Christmas.

Seven per cent of individuals 35 to 54 years old also said they did not comply with the public orders after Christmas, as well as six per cent of people 55 and older.