SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — “I do want to offer a glimmer of hope,” said Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody.

While still in the throws of the highest COVID infection rates since the pandemic began, there is some cautious optimism from Cody.

“We are now seeing some signs that increasingly make me feel confident that the level of infections are just starting to come down,” Cody said.

Those signs have to do with lab samples of wastewater.

Over the week, the prevalence of COVID has dropped at three of the county’s four wastewater treatment plants.

“We are far from out of the woods,” Cody said.

Dr. Cody cautioned this is no time to let your guard down and Bay Area infectious disease experts agree.

“It typically takes around a week to 10 days when the wastewater numbers drop that we see our cases numbers start to drop,” said UC Berkeley Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. John Swartzberg.

And even if we peek and begin to see case numbers start to drop over the next week, there will still be a high level of transmission fo several weeks to come.

“I think it will be around remainder of this month,” Swartzberg said. “The first couple of weeks of February, not quite as bad, but rough. Toward the end of February, things will look up. In March looking up even more, and very optimistic about April, May, and June.

That means over the next several weeks you want to avoid large gatherings, you want to continue distancing, and you want to wear that most protective mask there is.