VANCOUVER -- The number of active COVID-19 cases in British Columbia continued to creep up over the weekend as the province recorded another 1,428 infections and eight related deaths.

Health officials said 504 cases were identified from Friday to Saturday, followed by 475 from Saturday to Sunday and 449 from Sunday to Monday.

In a written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix also revealed another 29 cases involving "variants of concern" have been detected, bringing the province's total to 101.

"It is important to know that while these COVID-19 variants of concern have shown to transmit more easily, the measures we take to stop the spread are exactly the same as what we have been doing since the start of the pandemic. This is the case whether at work, at school or at home," Henry and Dix said.

"As community transmission continues, we all need to continue to use all of the layers of protection, to continue to keep to our households only, and to avoid travel unless it is absolutely necessary."

The vast majority of variant cases involve the U.K. variant B.1.1.7, but there have also been 20 of South African variant B.1.31 and two of the Nigerian variant B.1.525.

Some of the U.K. variant cases have been connected to schools in the Fraser Health region, prompting concerns from parents and educators about the increased risk of transmission.

Altogether, B.C. has recorded 77,263 cases of COVID-19 and 1,335 related fatalities since the start of the pandemic.

The province's active caseload, which has been climbing over the past week, increased to 4,560 on Monday, up from 4,486 on Friday afternoon. That's the highest it's been since Jan. 15.

The latest infections also pushed the province's rolling seven-day average for new cases to 468, up from 440 on Friday.

There are now 223 people in hospital, 63 of whom are in intensive care. Health officials said 71,313 people have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C., and there are 7,768 people under active health monitoring after being exposed to known case.

Henry and Dix also announced three new outbreaks, including at Vancouver General Hospital and Kelowna General Hospital.

The third is a community outbreak at Grand River Foods, a processing plant in Abbotsford where nearly two dozen staff members have tested positive so far.