Scotland’s R number could be as high as 1.4, Nicola Sturgeon warned as she said another 64 coronavirus-related deaths had been confirmed in the past day.
Ahead of publishing the latest estimate of the infection rate, the First Minister told the daily coronavirus briefing the figure remains above one.
However she added it will not yet take account of new lockdown restrictions which have been in place for the past few weeks.
In the past 24 hours, 1,707 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed – taking the total to 157,079 since the start of the pandemic.
There are 1,829 people in hospital confirmed to have Covid-19, up by 35 in 24 hours.
Of these patients, 142 are in intensive care – a rise of eight in the same period.
The 64 fatalities – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – takes the death toll under that measure to 5,166.
Ms Sturgeon also announced 208,207 people in Scotland had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination as of Wednesday.
The Public Health Scotland statistics indicate an increase of 16,242 on the 191,965 vaccinated 24 hours previously.