Scotland has recorded 714 new cases of coronavirus, the biggest single-day jump on record.
It amounts to 11.5% of newly-tested individuals, up from 9.5% on Friday and the highest proportion of positive tests since the government began publishing the data in July.
The World Health Organisation says countries who keep that percentage under 5% generally have their epidemic under control.
Scotland’s has not been under 5% since September 18 as Covid-19 infections have surged.
No new deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours, but six coronavirus patients have died so far this week.
Of Saturday’s new infections, 290 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 123 are in Lothian, 91 are in Lanarkshire and 76 are in Tayside.
It comes amid major campus outbreaks at the University of Glasgow and Napier University in Edinburgh.
This weekend, all students around Scotland are barred from pubs and restaurants and from socialising outside their household in emergency measures to stem the tide of cases.
While the 714 new cases are the most ever recorded in Scotland, the country has greatly expanded its testing regime since the virus first peaked in the spring.
Responding to the figures, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “This is our biggest daily tally of cases so far.
“Important therefore to start with some caveats. We are doing much more testing now than in spring.
“These figures are impacted by university clusters. And Test & Protect is working hard and well.”
But the First Minister added: “We have absolutely no room for complacency – on the contrary.
“Cases are rising across Scotland, as in other countries.
“The number of people in hospital (99 today) has doubled in last couple of weeks.
“And we can only beat Covid back together – we must all play our part.
“So, please, for now, stay out of each other’s houses; stick to the 6/2 rule outdoors and in indoor public places; download protect.scot; and follow FACTS.
“We will get through this – but only if we all act to protect ourselves and each other. Let’s stick with it.”
A total of 99 people are in hospital with Covid, a rise of ten in the last day.
The figure of 11 patients in intensive care with the virus is unchanged on yesterday.
Last week, fresh restrictions were imposed on Scotland limiting social gatherings to no more than six adults from a maximum of two households.
This week, as cases soared, a Scotland-wide ban on visiting or hosting people from other households at home was implemented.
The Scottish Government’s FACTS public health message stands for:
- Face coverings in enclosed spaces
- Avoid crowded places
- Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
- Two-metre social distancing
- Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms
More than 1.25 million Scots have now downloaded the confidential Protect Scotland contact tracing app, which uses bluetooth technology to notify users if they have been in contact with a Covid-infected person.
That’s nearly 28% of Scotland’s adult population.
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