SASKATOON -- The Saskatoon area topped 300 variant COVID-19 cases according to Tuesday's provincial update.

The number of cases jumped to 302 from 181 on Monday.

News of the reported surge came the same day as the province tightened its COVID-19 public health order to restrict mixing between households.

The COVID-19 information the province shares does not specify how many of the cases are considered active.

Fourteen days prior, on March 31, there were 53 reported variant cases in the Saskatoon area.

The rise in cases represents a nearly five-fold increase.

Generally, 14 days is the recommended period of self-isolation for those either diagnosed with COVID-19 or considered at risk of developing the illness.

In total, there were 472 active cases of COVID-19 identified in the Saskatoon area as of Tuesday’s update.

The B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in the U.K., accounts for nearly all of the cases in Saskatchewan where the strain has been identified.

Health officials say the variant can potentially spread faster than the original coronavirus strain.

A study released earlier in March also showed the B.1.1.7 variant may also result in a higher rate of death.