What Parents Need to Know About Coronavirus in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Beyond

Does COVID-19 have you feeling confused and helpless? Take control by learning everything that parents need to know about coronavirus in Detroit and beyond with this handy roundup.

Sad child looking out a window

It’s hard for us not to have coronavirus on our minds, especially as parents. As of July 31, 2020, officials have announced 89,933 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,446 deaths in Michigan, according to Michigan.gov.

Of those confirmed cases, 26,949 are in Wayne County, 14,494 are in Oakland County, 9,555 are in Macomb County and the numbers seem to still be rising.

Here is what parents need to know about the coronavirus in Detroit, Ann Arbor and beyond, including prevention tips, precautions, cancellations and reopening — along with ideas to keep the kids entertained while keeping them close to home.

We’ll update this article as new information arrives and new parenting resources will be added in the list below.

Parenting resources during COVID-19 crisis





At (or close to) home activities

Smiling Father Playing With Baby Son At Home



What parents need to know


We’ve compiled this information from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) page dedicated to COVID-19.

What is coronavirus?

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 have generally been mild and most commonly start within one week or up to 14 days after exposure. They include:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • 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?

Currently, there is no vaccination or medication that prevent or treat COVID-19. Here are some ways to help protect yourself from the coronavirus:

  • 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 two wear face masks in public spaces.

In addition, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by your pets.

Cancellations, closures and postponed events

Event cancellations

On March 16, President Trump issued new guidelines to limit gatherings of more than 10 people, thus most events spring and summer events scheduled in southeast Michigan have been canceled, postponed or moved online.

Check out our calendar for event updates this spring and virtual alternatives for your favorite activities.

Affected venues, schools, etc.

On March 23, Gov. Whitmer signed the original “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, which temporarily suspended operations of all “non-essential” businesses including restaurants, museums and other venues.

Here’s how it affected schools and venues in our area:

Affected schools

As of April 2, all Michigan K-12 schools have been closed for the rest of the academic year. Colleges also have closed their campuses, but many adopted online coursework for the remainder of the semester.

The Trump Administration has been pushing to get schools to reopen for in-person instruction in the fall. You can read up on how local school are planning to keep kids safe if they do reopen, here.

Affected venues

Virtually all recreation venues were affected by the Stay Home, Stay Safe order. You can see some highlights on our cancellations page. Please check with each venue for more information on how COVID-19 has affected their operations and when they’re planning to reopen.

What’s reopening and when

An open for business sign

On June 1, 2020, Gov. Whitmer moved to stage four of her 6-stage reopening plan. This move allowed restaurants and retailers to reopen at limited capacity and with social distancing measures in place.

Outdoor swimming pools, day camps, libraries and museums were allowed to reopen starting on June 8 and hair salons were allowed to reopen on June 15. Gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters and similar establishments remain closed.

All establishments are required to follow these protocols before they are allowed to reopen:

  • Post signs telling customers not to enter if they’re sick
  • Require or encourage customers to wear masks
  • Enforce crowd-limiting measures and limit seating capacity
  • Use dividers, floor markings and signs to encourage social distancing
  • Train employees on how to enforce coronavirus protocols
  • Frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces
  • Disinfect the facility throughout the day, as necessary
  • Close buffets and self-serve food or drink options

After an uptick in local cases of COVID-19, Gov. Whitmer made it a requirement that all Michiganders over the age of two without medical conditions wear masks while inside of all public spaces and bars in some areas are no longer allowed to provide inside service.

For a full list of what’s opening in our area and what’s required when visiting establishments that are allowed to reopen, check out our post on what’s reopening in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor — and for more information on COVID-19, how it’s affecting our area and additional services or activities, visit our Coronavirus Help page.

This post is updated regularly.

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