Scotland has recorded 806 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, which is 11.5% of newly-tested people.
It’s the highest daily total in the pandemic so far, but Nicola Sturgeon stressed some of the test samples are from Friday and Saturday.
Of the 806 new cases, there are 302 in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, where a large cluster broke out last week at the University of Glasgow.
There are 180 cases in Lothian, where there is a significant outbreak out of Napier University, and 54 in Grampian, with Aberdeen University also experiencing a smaller cluster.
A total of 91 cases are in the NHS Lanarkshire area.
No new deaths among coronavirus patients have been reported overnight.
There are 123 people in hospital with the virus overall, up by one in 24 hours, with 14 of those in intensive care, down two.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s Tuesday Covid-19 briefing, the First Minister said the high number of cases today will include tests from previous days which had not been completed.
After a “lower than expected” total of 222 new cases on Monday, she said Tuesday’s figure includes “quite a high number of results from samples that were actually taken on Friday and Saturday that we might have expected to see reported yesterday”.
She said work was ongoing with the UK Government to ensure turnaround times for tests results “continue to be as speedy as they need to be”.
Sturgeon also said while Scotland was “certainly seeing a rise in transmission”, much more testing was being carried out than in the spring.
As a result she said it was “not particularly valid” to compare numbers with now from then.
The FM said a “quite significant majority” of new cases are among people aged under 40, with the bulk of those in the under-25 age group.
She added: “That of course is affected by the university clusters we have been seeing in recent days.”
While younger people were less likely to die, Sturgeon continued, they could still become “seriously unwell” from the virus.
However, the First Minister warned Covid transmission among older age groups is also increasing, and “rising across the spectrum of age ranges”.
“Let’s not pretend that is not the case,” she said.
Around a third of the new cases reported on Tuesday were in those aged 40 or above, she said, with a “a number” in the over-60s.