NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City remains on “high” alert for COVID-19, and the nation’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says the number of cases is likely much higher than what’s being reported.

Fauci joined PIX on Politics host Dan Mannarino on Sunday to discuss the pandemic as well as the monkeypox outbreak and gun violence through the lens of a public health crisis. 

As of Thursday, New York’s statewide seven-day average positivity rate was about 7.6%. New York City tracked just above 6%, according to state Department of Health data. A little more than 2,500 people across the state were hospitalized with COVID-19.

Fauci said he believes folks will be dealing with COVID “on a chronic basis.” The hope, he said, is that the country can reach a level of vaccination that would decrease the virus’ impact on society compared to the way it has over the last two years.

“We are not going to eradicate this, that is for sure,” he added.

As for testing, Fauci said it’s likely cases are being underreported as more people use at-home COVID tests instead of lab PCR tests. Tracking the number of hospitalizations, he said, has become a much more reliable way to understand the severity and threat level of the virus.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.