A year into the pandemic, the battle against the coronavirus continues and the Bay Area now faces the fourth wave of COVID-19.
Locally, the Santa Clara County health department has been adamant about following safety measures regarding the virus. Now, questions loom about how the delta variant has changed the fight.
NBC Bay Area talked exclusively with Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody about the ongoing pandemic. Among other things, Dr. Cody said we better get used to the virus.
"For a large metro area, greater than a million, I believe we're the most 'highly vaccinated' county in the country," Dr. Cody said.
While she's proud of the South Bay's 80 plus percent vaccination rate, the delta variant is still circulating fast.
"It spreads much more easily, that's the simple fact," she said. "It just spreads more easily and that's why we've seen this uptick in cases, and it has translated to hospitalizations as well."
When asked if the normal precautions of masks and social distancing will suffice to protect people, she said those "layers of protection" are still important, but point out choosing your circumstances is just as crucial.
"I am no longer indoor dining. I am no longer gonna go to a place, even outdoors, where there’s a lot of people mushed together. Because it changes the probability," she explained. "So all these layers remain very important in preventing the spread."
As the Labor Day weekend nears, Dr. Cody reminds families the importance of being vaccinated around children who are not yet eligible to receive their shot.
She emphasized we're all going to have to live with COVID-19 as it's not going away soon.