There were some grim numbers on Saskathewan's COVID-19 dashboard Thursday.
The disease has claimed the lives of 10 more people, bringing the province's COVID-19 death toll since the pandemic began to 695.
There was also a new record in daily cases: 601. That's a jump of 201 from Wednesday's number and almost three times what it was a month ago.
Hospitalization numbers went up as well, from 295 to 307.
That number includes a new record for people with COVID-19 in intensive care: 72.
Another 4,792 COVID-19 vaccines were administered Wednesday. Following the trend of the past two weeks, more people are now getting their first shot than their second.
Hospital, case numbers rose throughout September
September was a challenging month for Saskatchewan.
On many days, records were broken in different categories, particularly during the second half of the month.
Between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30, the government announced 88 COVID-19-related deaths.
The seven-day average of daily new cases climbed from 271 at the start of the month to 488 on Thursday, according to the province's online dashboard.
The number of active cases on Sept. 1 was 2,372. That number hit a new record of 4,864 on Sept. 26.
The previous record for active cases in Saskatchewan was 4,763 on Dec. 7, 2020.
On Thursday, the province reported 4,669 active cases.
Saskatchewan's hospitals have been particularly affected by the rise in COVID-19 cases in September.
Most elective procedures and surgeries have been delayed or cancelled as COVID-19 patients fill the province's hospitals.
This month, Saskatchewan also paused its organ donation program as a result of the strain the rising number of COVID-19 cases has put on hospitals.
The 307 people in Saskatchewan hospitals with COVID-19 on Thursday was more than twice the number on Sept. 1, when there were 134 hospitalized with the illness.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU at the start of the month was 30 — once again, less than half of the 72 reported Thursday.
While COVID-19 numbers climbed through the month, Saskatchewan's government also switched its course over the last 30 days.
Starting Friday, Saskatchewan residents will have to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID test result to access a range of establishments, businesses and events.
Less than three weeks ago, on Sept. 10, Premier Scott Moe was still rejecting widespread restrictions, including a proof of vaccine system, saying requiring vaccinations would create "two classes of citizens," a policy he called "divisive."
On Sept. 16, he changed course and announced mandatory masking would be reinstated, along with a proof of vaccination policy and a requirement for government employees to get vaccinated or receive negative tests.
Despite the challenging 30 days, a glimmer of hope remains at the end of September.
Vaccination numbers have been on the rise in the province, with 38,337 more Saskatchewan residents becoming fully vaccinated between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30.