MONTREAL -- The number of new reported deaths due to COVID-19 in Quebec dropped to their lowest in a week Sunday.

Quebec health authorities announced  that 44 more people have died due to COVID-19, and the number of confirmed cases rose by 573.

Of those who have died, 30 were in Montreal, four in Monteregie and two in Laval, which continue to be the hardest hit regions.

It is the lowest daily total since 34 new deaths were reported May 17. It is just the second time the daily death toll has been below 50 since the second week of April. It is the third time in a week that the number of new cases fell below 600.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 47,411 and 3,984 people have died in the province.

Of the total numbers, 14,331 have recovered, an increase of 287, and the number of patients in the hospital with coronavirus dropped to 1,435, a decrease of 17. Of those in the hospital, three more are in intensive care than there were Saturday with 170 receiving treatment.

According to the province's statistics, over 90 per cent of those who have died in the province due to COVID-19 were over 70 years old. 

It is the first weekend since the pandemic started that Quebecers were permitted to gather in groups as large as 10 in public places and backyards. 

Tomorrow, retail businesses with exterior entrances on the Island of Montreal will be permitted to reopen, and grocery stores can now open on Sunday.