VANCOUVER -- As new COVID-19 cases continue to decline across B.C., exposures to the coronavirus in Metro Vancouver schools are becoming less frequent, but they're still happening.

Currently, 81 schools in the Lower Mainland are listed on the exposure websites maintained by Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health

That's a slight decrease from the number of active exposures in local schools at this time last week, but a significant drop from the number seen in mid-May. 

Schools are added to the health authority lists when someone in the school community tests positive for COVID-19 and was at school during their infectious period. Letters are sent home to everyone in the school community notifying them of the exposure, and health officials reach out directly to those who were close contacts of the infected person.

A school remains on the list until 14 days after its most recent exposure date.

Sixty of the 81 schools on local lists as of Friday were in the Fraser Health region, while the remaining 21 were in Vancouver Coastal Health.

That's a decrease of 10 schools from the previous week in Fraser Health and a decrease of three in Vancouver Coastal.

The declining number of school exposures comes as B.C.'s active COVID-19 caseload and rolling seven-day average for new cases decline to levels not seen since October.

The province is set to enter Step 2 of its restart plan - which will allow for larger outdoor gatherings, recreational travel and later liquor service, among other things - next week. 

COVID-19 school exposures