No deaths involving coronavirus have been registered in Scottish care homes for the first time during the pandemic.
There were just two deaths of people with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 in the week ending September 6 – the lowest figure since the outbreak started – with both occurring in hospitals.
But it comes against a backdrop of surging Covid cases throughout the country, particularly in the west of Scotland.
And last week’s two deaths were followed by three new coronavirus fatalities announced on Tuesday – the first time there were three deaths reported in a 24-hour period since late June.
A total of 159 new cases have been reported overnight, amounting to 1.9% of newly-tested Scots.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily Covid-19 briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said daily infections had trebled over the last three weeks.
Of Wednesday’s new cases, 63 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, where five council areas have seen indoor household gatherings banned.
People living in Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and East and West Dunbartonshire cannot currently visit or host people from other households at their homes.
There are also 29 new cases in Lothian, 19 in Lanarkshire and ten in Forth Valley, with further cases in every single mainland health board area in Scotland.
The First Minister urged people not to let their guard down, and said the government is likely to take a “very cautious approach” when it reviews lockdown measures on Thursday.
She warned: “It is not an exaggeration to say Scotland is currently at a very dangerous point, so too is the UK as a whole and many other countries from across the world.
“We can see from the level of cases in countries like Spain and France that the current increase in cases could very easily continue and could start to translate into serious illness and death, if we are not very careful.”
There are 274 people in hospital with confirmed cases of coronavirus, a rise of seven in 24 hours and up by 30 since Sunday.
Of those patients, six are being treated in intensive care, unchanged in the last day.
With schools having reopened, and colleges and universities about to start back, the First Minister conceded this could be a “risky development” – although she stressed it is necessary.
And with the latest three-weekly review of lockdown due to take place on Thursday, she emphasised she would likely take “very cautious approach to any further changes”.
Sturgeon continued: “In fact, we can’t rule out the need to make changes to the numbers of people allowed to gather together like those that were announced for England last night.
“We are carefully reviewing existing guidance and regulation, as well as considering what new steps may be necessary to keep Covid under control.”
In England, the number of people allowed to gather indoors and outdoors will be reduced from 30 to six.
In Scotland, up to eight people, comprising no more than three households, are permitted to meet inside (except in the five local authority areas in the west of Scotland where household gatherings are currently restricted).
Scots can meet outdoors in numbers of up to 15, with a maximum of five households.
The First Minister added that the “increase in cases we are seeing is anyone’s fault”.
She went on: “We had always known that opening up the economy and society again, which we have to try to do for obvious reasons, gives the virus more chance to spread.”
Sturgeon stressed that the best way of keeping the economy open and “allowing life to maintain some kind of normality” was to follow public health guidelines.
She said: “We all need to think about our own behaviour.
“I know how hard it must be to hear this after six months – I certainly take no pleasure in saying it after six months – but letting our guard down does allow the virus to spread.”