MONTREAL -- The number of new COVID-19 cases in Quebec surpassed 1,000 Saturday, the first time the province reported that high of a number since Feb. 13. 

Quebec reported Saturday that 1,009 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total number of infections to 307,394 since the start of the pandemic. 

The seven-day average is now 815 cases per day. 

Of the total number of novel coronavirus cases, 289,132 people are reported to have recovered from the disease, an increase of 748.

The Quebec Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) is reporting that there are 7,617 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

The province also added eight new deaths due to COVID-19, including two in the past 24 hours, five between March 20 and March 25, and one before March 20.

Since the start of the pandemic, the province has reported 10,645 deaths due to the disease.

Quebec hospitalizations remained stable with 481 patients receiving care in the province's hospitals. Of those, 108 people are in intensive care wards, a decrease of seven.

After breaking the record for vaccinations administered in a single day Friday with 54,951, the province reported Saturday that 53,796 more people have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose. In total, 1,176,670 vaccinations have been administered, which is 13.9 per cent of the province's population. 

On March 25, health-care professionals analyzed 31,411 samples. (Quebec releases its testing data from two days prior to its daily updates).

Health Minister Christian Dube said authorities were expecting the number of new cases to rise above the 1,000 mark.

"We need to monitor the impact of these cases on our hospital admissions," he said.

According to the INSPQ, the number of confirmed cases of variants has risen to 745, while the number of presumptive cases undergoing screening continues to rise inexorably, from 5,157 to 5,565.

The Quebec college of physicians has asked the government to "reconsider reducing sanitary measures to take into account the alarm signals and the opinion of many experts," given the recent evolution of the pandemic.


Of the new cases, Montreal reported the highest increase (367 new, 114,605 total), followed by Laval (125 new, 26,888 total), Quebec City (96 new, 23,589 total) and Monteregie (86 new, 43,838 total). 

Three deaths were reported in Montreal (4,611 total), two in Laval (886 total), and one death was reported in Quebec City (1,013 total), Outaouais (172 total), and the Lower Laurentians (482 total).