VANCOUVER -- The last day of school in British Columbia is less than two weeks away, and 51 schools in the Lower Mainland are still dealing with recent COVID-19 exposures.

As of Friday, there had been exposures at 10 different schools in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 41 schools in the Fraser Health region over the last 14 days.  

In a school context, an exposure is defined as one or more people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and were present at the school during their infectious period.

Schools are added to the regional health authority lists whenever an exposure takes place, and they remain there until 14 days after the last exposure date.

Fifty-one is the lowest total number of exposures CTV News Vancouver has recorded in the Lower Mainland since it began tracking school exposures every Friday in mid-May.

Archived versions of the Fraser Health school exposures web page on archive.org suggest that the number of exposures in the region has been at least that high since late January, though data is incomplete. 

Data on COVID-19 infections in schools released by both Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health shows that in-school transmission of the coronavirus is rare. Health officials have repeatedly said that the number of school exposures generally reflects the level of transmission happening in the broader community, not in schools.

Still, B.C. teachers have continually pushed for greater protection from COVID-19 in the classroom, demanding mask mandates and improved ventilation, as well as online learning options in some circumstances.

Those efforts are set to continue as the province plans for a return to "near normal" when the next school year begins in September.