MONTREAL -- As Quebecers over 85 are now able to sign up for a vaccine, the province reported that 858 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall total to 285,330 since the start of the pandemic. 

Quebec has added an average of 778 cases per day for the past week.

Of those, 266,879 are reported to have recovered from the disease, an increase of 741 from Wednesday.

Quebec added 16 deaths due to the novel coronavirus, including five in the past 24 hours, nine between Feb. 18 and Feb. 23, and two before Feb.18.

Since March 2020, a total of 10,361 people in Quebec have died due to COVID-19, according to the province, which removed one death from the total after an investigation found that it was not attributable to the disease. 

Hospitalizations dropped again Thursday with the province reporting that 22 fewer people are receiving care in Quebec hospitals, reducing that total to 633. Of those, 122 people are in intensive care wards, a decrease of eight.

On Wednesday, 8,300 doses of vaccine were administered, which is 507 fewer than the 8,807 administered Tuesday. 

Since the start of the vaccination campaign in Quebec, 387,076 doses of vaccine have been administered (four per cent of the total population).

On Feb. 23, health-care professionals analyzed 32,071 samples. (Quebec releases its sampling data from two days prior to its daily updates).


The Island of Montreal reported the highest increase with 384 new cases reported (105,106 total) followed by Laval with 113 new (24,367 total) and Monteregie with 111 new (41,473 total).

Of the new deaths reported, six occurred in Montreal (4,495 total), four in Quebec City (976 total), and two in Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Quebec (498 total), and Monteregie (1,469 total).

One new death was reported in Laval (868 total).