TORONTO -- Quebec announced a dramatic rise in the number of “recovered” COVID-19 cases Friday as the province introduced a new system for measuring them.

A whopping 23,686 people were recorded as newly recovered in Quebec on Friday, slashing the overall number of active cases in Canada by more than 80 per cent.

On Thursday, there were a reported 27,603 active cases across the country, but Friday’s announcement in Quebec brings the total number of active cases in Canada to just 4,058.

The change comes after weeks of Quebec’s recovery figures lagging behind other provinces with active cases still exceeding 25,000. Daily recovery numbers ranged from as low as 49 on Monday, to as high as 156 on Thursday.

There are now just 1,556 active cases in Quebec.

Quebec health authorities did not initially provide an explanation of how they changed their methodology before and after the new surge.

But later Friday, health officials said they had previously not listed people who were no longer in hospital as having recovered.

Under the new system, those who have tested positive and are no longer hospitalized will be listed as having recovered after 14 days. For those who are immunosuppressed, it will be 21 days, and for those over the age of 80 or in long-term care homes, 28 days.

Last month, the province back-pedalled on it announcement not to provide daily updates on the number of new cases after officials faced scrutiny and calls for transparency.