MONTREAL -- OUR LATEST UPDATE: Quebec reports just under 900 new COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

Quebec public health authorities announced Saturday that 698 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

In the past two days, officials have reported 1,335 new cases in Quebec, and the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic has surged to 71,005.

The Island of Montreal had the highest increase in new cases with 272 (32,564 total).

The Quebec City region reported 106 new cases (3,589 total), Monteregie increased by 99 (10,380 total), Laval reported 50 new cases (6,881 total), and Chaudiere-Appalaches reported an increase of 45 (1,143 total)

Officials announced that no new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, but seven deaths occurred between Sept. 9-24. The total number of people who have died due to the disease since the start of the pandemic is now 5,821.

Two deaths were reported in the Quebec City and in the Gaspe-Magdalen Islands regions, one death was reported in Laval, the Laurentians and Chaudiere-Appalaches.

The number of people receiving treatment in Quebec's hospitals increased by 18 for a total of 217. Of those, 45 people are in the intensive care ward, an increase of 12.

Authorities announced that 404 more people have recovered from COVID-19, and 60,660 people have recovered from the disease since the start of the pandemic.

Health-care professionals analyzed 33,148 tests Sept. 24, which is 2,912 fewer than were anlayzed Sept. 23. (Quebec releases its testing data from two days prior to its daily updates).