MONTREAL -- Quebec public health authorities announced Friday that 89 more people have tested positive for the virus and 19 more people have died. 

The total number of deaths in the province since the pandemic began is now 5,560 and 55,682 people have tested positive for the virus.

On July 1, health professionals reported that they analyzed 8,662 samples, which is 93 less than the 8,745 analyzed June 30. (Quebec releases sample data two days prior to the daily updates).

In the epicentre of the virus in Canada, Montreal recorded 28 more cases and 10 of the 19 new deaths in the province due to the virus were recorded on the island.

Montreal now has 27,377 recorded cases followed by Monteregie (7,873, 19 new cases), Laval (5,814, nine new cases) and Lanaudiere (4,237, 13 new cases).

The total number of hospitalizations dropped again with 19 fewer people receiving treatment in Quebec hospitals for a total of 392. Of those, 31 people are in the intensive care ward which is one fewer than reported Thursday.

Quebec reported that 124 more people have recovered from the virus bringing that total to 25,158. 

"Right now we are at a turning point," said Quebec public health director Horacio Arruda, who spoke from Longueuil Friday afternoon after meeting with public health officials in the Monteregie region.

Arruda was in the region as part of a tour throughout the province to speak with public health officials and thank health care workers for their efforts.

Half of the cases in the Monteregie region were in the more urban setting of the Longueuil agglomeration. Of the 570 deaths in the region, 92 per cent were in people 70 years old and older and more than 90 per cent of deaths occurred in long-term care homes.

Arruda said a decrease in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Quebec are all positive signs, but stressed that the "fires are still burning" and that it is important that residents remain vigilant and continue to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines. He pointed to cases on the rise in the United States, saying it's important we don't reintroduce cases through the border.

People must learn to live with the virus in a more deconfined setting, said Arruda, stressing that people need to make a habit of leaving the house with their masks, just like their keys, and need to continue to practice social distancing. 

"We also know people can be contagious without having symptoms," he said, calling it "the issue I despise most about the illness."

Arruda said that he doesn't want to vilify or discriminate against people who don't or can't wear a mask, but that he hopes it becomes part of social etiquette.

"I would really like if within a few week 95 or 90 per cent of people we see on the streets are wearing a mask," he said. That would make me so happy."

There has been a decrease in the average age of cases, added Monteregie CIUSSS public health director Julie Loslier, who said people who are younger are being diagnosed after being in social situations with no distancing. 

"That's a concern for us," said Loslier, adding that "we have no choice but to maintain a strong level of efforts."