Scotland recorded 19 Covid-related deaths on Thursday, the highest since March 10, with five in Tayside and Fife.
It is the highest number of coronavirus deaths since March 10, when Scotland was in lockdown.
This brings the toll of people in Scotland who tested positive for the virus within 28 days of death to 7,791.
Two of Thursday’s deaths were in Perth Kinross. Another two were in Dundee and one was in Fife.
Overall, Scotland recorded 2,806 new Covid-9 cases on Thursday.
On Monday, the country recorded 2,134 new cases, while Tuesday recorded 2,636, showing the number of new daily cases has been increasing through the week.
The latest Scottish Government figures indicate that the daily test positivity rate is 6.6%.
On Thursday it was reported, 543 people were being treated in hospital for Covid across Scotland.
Of those patients, 47 were being treated in intensive care.
Almost four million people in Scotland so far have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while almost three million have received their second.
On Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted saying that Scotland’s Covid cases are on a “downward path just now – which is good”.
Covid cases in 🏴 are on a downward path just now – which is good. To keep it this way, please continue to get vaccinated asap, stick to the rules still in place eg limits on meeting up with others, face masks etc, and follow health advice on eg hand washing, ventilation https://t.co/jTDUIvElnT
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 15, 2021
She added: “To keep it this way, please continue to get vaccinated asap.
“Stick to the rules still in place eg limits on meeting up with others, face masks etc, and follow health advice on eg hand washing, ventilation.
At the beginning of this week Dundee lost its title as the most infected local authority in the UK, following a steady decline.
But the city still remains the second highest for case positivity rates in Scotland, with 494.9 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, as of Thursday.
The case positivity rate in Perth and Kinross on Thursday was 294.2, while in Angus it was 139.7.
On Thursday Dundee recorded 84 new Covid cases, Perth and Kinross recorded 48 and Angus had recorded 56.
Across Tayside there were 61 people being treated in hospital for coronavirus with the number of those being treated in ICU under five.
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “When the virus is circulating widely and case numbers are high in the community as they are currently in Tayside and across many areas of Scotland, unfortunately the number of deaths will also increase.
“Getting both doses of the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness as a result of Covid-19 and we would encourage everyone over 18 to come along to any of the drop in clinics running across the region.”
Fife recorded one Covid related death on Thursday as 35 people were being treated in hospital for the virus.
On Thursday, Fife’s case positivity rate sat at 322.8 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, with 161 new daily cases recorded that day.
It comes after health secretary Humza Yousaf visited a drop-in vaccine clinic in Arbroath.
He urged anyone who is yet to take up their offer of a vaccine to come forward.
“The vaccination programme is working – evidence shows vaccination is weakening the link between case numbers and severe acute illness.,” he said
“However, case numbers are still high and vaccination continues to be the best way to protect yourself and those around you.”