It’s hard for us not to have coronavirus on our minds, especially as parents. As of December 2020, officials have announced 442,715 total confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10,935 deaths in Michigan, according to Michigan.gov.
Of those confirmed cases, 72,847 are in Wayne County, 49,543 are in Oakland County, 43,918 are in Macomb County and 11,293 are in Washtenaw County. While medical professionals have started rolling out vaccines, we’re still far away from getting back to normal.
Here’s what parents need to know about the coronavirus in Detroit, Ann Arbor and beyond, including prevention tips, precautions, current protocols and local re-openings — along with ideas to keep the kids entertained while keeping them close to home and resources for those experiencing financial trouble caused by the pandemic.
We’ll update this article as new information arrives and new parenting resources will be added in the list below.
What is coronavirus
We’ve compiled this information from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) page dedicated to COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are part of a large family of viruses that can cause illness in both animals and humans. In humans, several coronaviruses can cause respiratory infections from the common cold to more severe ailments like MERS and SARS.
The most recently discovered coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused outbreaks of mild and severe respiratory illness around the world.
How is it transmitted?
COVID-19 is spread via person-to-person contact via small droplets from the nose or mouth.
A person who comes in contact with these droplets, either directly or touching an item contaminated with them, and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth can contract the virus.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of confirmed COVID-19 cases most commonly start within one week or up to 14 days after exposure. They include:
- Dry cough
- Difficulty breathing
Additional symptoms such as aches, pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea have been reported in some patients.
What about my kids?
About 80% of people who get COVID-19 recover from the disease without special treatment, the WHO reports. However, about 1 in 6 people who get the disease becomes seriously ill.
People most vulnerable to serious illness so far reportedly include older people and those with underlying medical issues including high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes — though anyone with a fever, cough or who is having difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
What precautions should I take for the coronavirus?
A COVID-19 vaccination was recently developed and is in the beginning stages of being administered. You can read the state or Michigan’s vaccination prioritization protocols here. In the meantime you should lower your risk of infection by following these easy tips:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
- If sick, stay away from public places including work, school and day care.
- Cover your cough and sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Practice social distancing and stay at least six feet away from other people.
- Teach your children and others to follow these steps.
The CDC currently recommends (and our state requires) all people who are medically able and over the age of 2 wear face masks in public spaces.
Health & parenting resources
Coronavirus sure has thrown how we think about our family’s health for a loop. Now, in addition to regular doctor’s visits and health screenings, parents have to keep track of family face masks, the number of COVID cases in their area and what to do if a family member is exposed.
To help you keep on top of all of this information, we offer a variety of resources including tips on wearing a face mask correctly, how to overcome FOGO and embrace family time, COVID outbreaks in our local schools and even some resources for those who are experiencing financial hardship in the wake of the pandemic.
- Grocery Shopping Services for Those At-Risk
- American Academy of Pediatrics Coronavirus Tips
- Should Kids Wear a Facemask
- How to Properly Wear a Facemask
- How to Help Kids Feel Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- A Worried Parent’s Guide to Coronavirus
- Making the Right Parenting Decisions During the Pandemic
- How to Overcome FOGO
- College Move-In Day During a Pandemic
- How to Care for College Kids During the Pandemic
- How Families Can Defeat the Coronavirus 15
- How to Loosen the Rules for the Sake of Fun
- Embracing Quarantine Family Overload
- What To Do If Your Child is Exposed to COVID
- COVID Outbreaks in Michigan Schools
- Where to Buy Face Masks for Kids
- Where Did The Preemies Go During the COVID Lockdowns
- Planning Your IEPs During COVID
- How to Find the Best Care for an Aging Loved One During COVID-19
- A Teacher’s Perspective on Going Back-to-School During the Pandemic
- At-Home Summer Accidents to Avoid With Kids
- Saving for College During the Pandemic
- Making Kids Feel Safe When the World Feels Scary
- Telehealth and Kids
- COVID Family Support Sources in Southeast Michigan
- Helping Your High School Senior Through COVID-19
- Where Kids Can Pick Up Free School Meals During COVID-19
- COVID 19 and Kids: What You Should Know
- Food Delivery Services
- Tips to Work from Home With Kids
- Celebrating the Holidays During COVID
- Protecting the Elderly from COVID
When coronavirus hit, students, teachers and parents needed to make a quick switch over to virtual learning. It was a huge readjustment that everyone involved is still grappling with. If you need help supporting your kids through online school, check out these resources, including ways to get kids to pay attention, a guide to homeschooling, brain break ideas and more.
- Taking a Gap Year in the Age of Coronavirus
- An Overwhelmed Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling
- Helping Kids with Learning Disabilities Navigate Online School
- Helping Kids Pay Attention During Virtual School
- 10 Brain Breaks to Try With Kids Remote Learning
- Setting Up a Pandemic Pod For Your Child
- 8 Ways to Bring Mindfulness Into Your Remote Learning Routine
- A Parent’s Guide to Online School
- Gov. Whitmer Announces Return-to-School Roadmap
- 23 Online Learning Resources for Kids
- Digital Resources to Teach Kids About the Environment
- 10 Ways I’m Teaching My Kids At Home
- Tips for Digital At-Home Learning During COVID
At-home activities & outdoor fun
While it’s important that families stay home to keep themselves and others safe, being cooped up indoors can get mega boring, so we took the time to put together a variety of activities that families can do at home, either indoors or in their backyard. Thumb through these recipes, crafts and other ideas when your kids are bouncing off the walls.
- Zoom Backgrounds By Southeast Michigan Spots
- Watch This Do That
- How to Throw a COVID-Friendly Birthday Party
- Best Family Movies and Shows That Just Hit Streaming Services
- How to Bake Your Own Bread
- Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe
- At-Home Picture Day Ideas
- 11 At-Home Date Night Ideas
- Camp Mom: How to Entertain the Kids Without Electronics This Summer
- Family Date Night Ideas
- Keep Kids Focused on Science with this Lava Lamp Experiment
- 7 Activity Boxes Offered by Small Businesses in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor
- Photography for Beginners
- Theaters Offering Concessions for Pick-Up
- Virtual Roller Coaster Rides from Cedar Point and Beyond
- Free Coloring Pages for Kids of All Ages
- Easy, Cheap and Fun Sensory Bin Ideas
- The Perfect Spotify List for Babies
- 20 Ways to Keep Kids Busy While Inside
- 15 Free Online Workouts to Keep Your Family Energized
- 9 Fun Backgrounds to Add to Your Video Calls
- 10 Virtual Family Vacations for Your Family to Take
- 15 At-Home Family Activities for Tweens and Teens
- Virtual Birthday Party Ideas for Kids
- 9 Cool Science Experiments to Try at Home
- 18 Virtual Storytimes with Authors, Actors and Celebrities
- Building an Indoor Obstacle Course
- 13 Ways to Help Kids Embrace Boredom
- Indoor Activities for Kids of All Abilities
- Virtual Classes and Online Activities for Kids
- 18 Educational YouTube Channels for Kids
- 10 Kid-Friendly Podcasts Your Kids Should Listen To
- 4 Easy Ways to Host a Virtual Play Date
- Virtual Races to Add to Your Running Routine
- Drive-In Movies Near Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor
- Ways to Make Family Walks More Fun
Ways to help
The pandemic has many of us feeling helpless, but there are ways that you can help your community from home, which will help boost your overall mood in the face of all the negative news. Here are some fun ways that you can help out — and some feel-good ways others are helping out, too.
- Ways to Help Out Your Community At Home
- COVID-19 Etiquette for Leaving the House
- Adopting a Pet During COVID-19
- Gifts to Show Appreciation to Teachers When Virtual Classes End
- 4 Ways to Support Small Businesses While Stuck Inside
- Helper’s Series: How families are helping one another during the coronavirus pandemic
Reopening & closings
With all the changing rules and protocols, it can be tough to keep up-to-date with what’s open and what’s not, so Metro Parent has done all the legwork for you. Take a look at the openings and closing in Metro Detroit and what our current protocols are, too.
- Things You Can Still Do During Michigan’s Stay-At-Home Order
- What’s Reopening in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor
- What You Need to Know About Michigan’s 3-Week Pause
More COVID info
Need more information about parenting during the coronavirus pandemic not answered above? We have even more information including how a family survived the virus, details on having a baby during the pandemic, what to do with toilet paper alternatives and more.
- How a Metro Detroit Mom and Dad Survived COVID
- What to do with Toilet Paper Alternatives
- Having a Baby During Coronavirus
- Driver’s Training During COVID
- Coping With Coronavirus in Italy
- Education Town Hall Offers Expert Panels on School Success in 2020
- Readers Share the Safest Places for Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Families
- How to Teach Kids About Cleanliness
- Sophomore Shift: A Metro Detroit Teen’s View on COVID-19
- Homemade Cleaning Products to Help Fight Germs
- Where Did The Preemies Go During the COVID Lockdowns
- Loss and Lessons During the Pandemic
This post is updated regularly.