SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A week after the rest of the Bay Area removed masking requirements in most indoor settings, it appears Santa Clara County will get onboard.
The county wanted to hit three key metrics before changing the mandate and Dr. Sara Cody, the county's public health officer, says next week looks to be the time we will lift the indoor mask mandate.
WATCH: Santa Clara Co. on track to lift indoor masking requirement on March 2, Dr. Sara Cody says
Today, a sight we haven't seen in some time in Santa Clara County: What looked to be a smile under the mask of Dr. Cody as she delivered what she called good and encouraging news.
"Given the steady decline in cases that we continue to see, I'm fairly confident that we will be able to lift the masking requirement on March 2," Dr. Cody said.
Three metrics needed to be met to turn the mask mandate into a recommendation.
RELATED: Santa Clara Co. on cusp of meeting its own requirements to lift indoor mask mandate
Vaccination rates over 80%, steady hospitalization rates in the county and a seven day case rate average of 550 or fewer. For the first time on Wednesday, all three boxes were checked.
"In Santa Clara County, we committed to metrics back last Fall and we remain committed to those metrics," Dr. Cody said. "To protect people who are still not protected because of age, or illness, or underlying condition, or geography or what have you. This policy is really an extension of our core value."
RELATED: California drops indoor mask mandate: What to know, what's different in the Bay Area
But as is the case with set metrics, there is a chance that the county falls backwards between now and next Wednesday.
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Dr. Cody says if the levels of community spread gets back to an unstable spot, masks requirements will continue.
VIDEO: Is COVID-19 an endemic yet? ABC7 explains what it means, where we are in the transition
"But I just want to be very clear that the data that we are following looks very encouraging," Dr. Cody said. "We continue to see a downward trend in cases reported and we continue to see a downward trend in our wastewater surveillance."
Per state guidelines, masks will still be required in certain settings. But, next week looks to be the next step towards normalcy.
"I know everyone looks forward to the day that we won't even need to wear masks anymore and when they aren't part of our life at least for a little bit," Dr. Cody said.
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