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'Kind of feels like we're starting over' | Houston preschool decides to temporarily close thanks to COVID cases

Cases among children in Montgomery County rose by five times from June to July, according to health officials.

HOUSTON — The playground at The Mays School is usually filled with rambunctious toddlers.

But it's silent this week thanks to a COVID-19 outbreak.

"We’re one of the largest private preschools in the area,” said owner Jessi Mays. "We closed just as a precaution. We did have a few teachers, a few students and a few parents that tested positive, and most are completely asymptomatic.”

Mays said the building will be professionally cleaned and sanitized, although exposure among those infected may have happened off campus.

"I think the new Delta variant came in, and has just been spreading so differently.” Mays said.

She and many others hope her school isn’t a microcosm of things to come once larger public schools are back in session.

"I have great concerns about it,” said Dr. Robert Dickson, Montgomery County Hospital District director.

Dickson said COVID cases among children there rose by five times from June to July after five months of decreasing cases, although only a small percentage have been seriously ill.

"A small percentage does not mean a small percentage if that’s your loved one," Dickson said. "If that’s your child.”

Dickson told us if he still had children in school, they’d go back wearing face coverings and would follow every recommended safety protocol.

"Back to the basics," Dickson said. "Good hand washing, socially distance, mask wearing.”

Because even asymptomatic children can spread COVID to more vulnerable members of their families.

"Kind of feels like we’re starting over,” Mays said.

That's something she hoped her temporary closure would help avoid.

Keep in mind that protocols vary from school to school and district to district.