MONTREAL -- Montreal director for public health Mylene Drouin is making it clear: people need to reduce contact with others and avoid large gatherings as much as possible.

Drouin reported that the island reported 73 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, but an additional 222 cases over the past four or five days.

The total number of cases reported on the Island of Montreal since the start of the pandemic is now 30,963 including 3,476 deaths (a number which has not changed this week).

"Those cases were contacted by the screening centres," said Drouin in a news conference Thursday morning. "Each case knew the result and that they needed to be isolated."

She added that though there was a massive increase in overall numbers, the island remains in the pre-alert "yellow" level.

Drouin said that though there were outbreaks in schools recently, the situations have been contained.

She, like Premier Francois Legault, reiterated the need for citizens to be vigilant in following public health guidelines when gathering.

"We have to really respect the two metres and the direction of the health measures in private gatherings," she said.