MONTREAL -- Quebec now has 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as health officials confirm four new cases of the virus.

All four had recently returned from abroad.

In an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, Premier François Legault has called for the cancellation of all gatherings of 250 people or more. For a list of events cancelled or postponed in Montreal, click here.

Health officials continue to insist hand-washing is one of the best ways prevent the spread of the virus. In addition, Legault is asking anyone who has recently come back from travelling abroad to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms -- coughing, fever and difficulty breathing.

Many schools in the Montreal-area have cancelled classes on Friday as a response to the premier's directive to limit large gatherings.