With Quebec now Canada's hardest hit province accounting for more than 1,300 cases as of March 25th, the government says the recent surge is partly due to a change in testing procedures, and that the spike in cases was anticipated.
"In these three residences, all the necessary measures have been taken", said Legault.
Tuesday's announcement came just hours ahead of a government-mandated shutdown of all non-essential businesses and services, which must close for three weeks as of midnight Tuesday.
In Quebec, the number of novel coronavirus cases has jumped since the beginning of the week.
Quebec leads the country in confirmed cases, but the premier and public health director Horacio Arruda said they fully expected to see the higher numbers because testing here is now in full swing. Seventy-eight people were in hospital, and 35 in intensive care.
It's hard to determine the exact reason for all cases, said Drouin, who explained that in almost half of the cases, people were returning from a trip, but others may have had contact with travellers, and are even second or third generation transmissions.
"We will talk about this for a long time", Legault said.
Community spread, defined by the American Center for Disease Control (CDC), "means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected".
The province has escalated measures over the past two weeks, but the premier stressed that people must continue to do their part during the health crisis and stay home.
There remained four deaths in the province linked to COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon.
Legault announced that from now on, seniors home residents are asked to not to leave without supervision, citing the potentially "disastrous" consequences of the virus running rampant within a group that is statistically the most at risk of complications. "We need you to cooperate", she said. "We're at that point".
He defended the decision to include government-run liquor and cannabis stores among the essential businesses allowed to remain open.
But constructions sites and aluminum smelters will have to close, he said.
Most people diagnosed with COVID-19 experience mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, and the majority of those who contract the virus recover.
However, for some, including Canadians aged 65 and over, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying conditions, the illness can be much more severe. Among the Canadians diagnosed with the illness so far, 10 per cent have required hospitalization, with fewer than five per cent of cases requiring admission to the ICU.