Scotland is experiencing a sharp rise in coronavirus infections with record-breaking numbers reported on two separate days this week. 

Nicola Sturgeon has urged everyone to do their part to help slow the spread of the virus, though a 'circuit breaker' lockdown has been ruled out. 

The surge is being fuelled by the easing of previous restrictions, with more people mixing and schools returning - as well as the prevalence of the highly-contagious Delta variant.

But with the peak not yet passed, what course does the Scottish Government predict the pandemic will take in Scotland?

While there remains considerable uncertainty about what will happen, here are six key takeways from the current modelling influencing decisions at Bute House 

1) Cases are continuing to multiply 

All key ways of measuring the spread of the virus are increasing - with the 'R' number estimated to be between 1 and 1.3 as of 23 August. This is the highest upper limit since 12th July 2021. 

The number of new daily infections for Scotland is estimated as being between 45 and 125 per 100,000 people, while the growth rate for Scotland is currently estimated as between -1% and 6%. 

2) Hospitalisations are projected to increase

If the course of the virus continues to follow the same path, the number of people being admitted to hopsital is projected to rise with more than 1,000 by the end of September. The pressure on ICU beds is also modelled to increase, with more than 100 occupied by the same time.  

HeraldScotland:

3) Who is testing positive?

One quarter of those testing positive are under 18, 50 per cent are aged under 30 and only 6% aged 65+6 . Among those aged under 18 the vast majority are unvaccinated while among those aged 18-29 just over half of them are vaccinated, most will just have had one dose.

4) How widespread is the virus? 

The increase in Covid cases is being seen across Scotland, with modelling predicting a 75% chance that that 28 local authories will have more than 100 cases per 100k, while 12 will have more than 300 cases per 100k.

These are:Argyll & Bute, Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.

One local authority, Dumfries & Galloway, is expected to exceed 500 cases per 100k with at least 75% probability.

5) Will the number of long Covid cases increase?

While data is still in the preliminary stage, the Scottish Government is monitoring the number of people who have Covid symptoms at least 12 weeks after infection.

The latest modelling predicts that between 43,000 (0.8% of the population) and 115,000 (2.1%) people will be in this category by 12th September.