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 guide.

Sad child looking out a window

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 | Health & parenting resources | Remote learning | At-home activities & outdoor fun | Ways to help | Re-openings and closings | More COVID info

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:

  • 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?

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.

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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.

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Remote learning

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.

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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.

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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.

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Reopening & closings

An open for business sign

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.

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More COVID info

Gloved hand holding a test tube that says caronavirus

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.

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This post is updated regularly.

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