SOLANO COUNTY (KPIX 5) — As many Bay Area residents are enjoying the new allowances that come with the state’s Yellow Tier, one Bay Area county is lagging behind the rest of the region.

Solano County remains in the Red Tier, and health officials say that reflects the area’s unique bridge to the rest of the state.

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“I just heard on the news that if you’ve been vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask.” said Margie Smith of Yesteryear’s Marketplace in downtown Vallejo.

Yesteryear’s survived the pandemic thanks largely to Vallejo’s newcomers. Smith is convinced the Red Tier is holding things back.

“Well, it does affect us,” said Smith. “It’s got to. We’re bound to have more business, more people would be coming from out of town.”

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“We represent much more of a cross-section of the state as a whole,” said Solano County Health Officer Bela Matyas. “You know, many people in areas outside of the bay area have a different understanding and a different attitude toward the pandemic.”

As for the metrics that drive a county’s tier status, Solano’s positivity rate is good. It’s health equity rate is even better. What’s not good is the rate of cases, but even those numbers might strike you as low.

“We have to get down to 26 or 27 cases a day and we are running about 30 to 35,” Matyas explained. “So we’re close, but not close enough.”

That means about 10 people contracting coronavirus in one single day can make the difference in the county’s position.

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“And if you think about it, it’s a very arbitrary number,” added Matyas. “There was never any science behind the decision where to have these cutoffs. It punishes businesses that have nothing to do with the transmission of the disease. It’s been transmitted in peoples homes.”