It’s hard for us not to have coronavirus on our minds, especially as parents. As of April 1, 2020, officials have announced 9,334 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan, according to a report from WXYZ. Here is what parents need to know about the coronavirus in Detroit, Ann Arbor and beyond, including prevention tips, precautions, cancellations and closures.
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
- COVID Family Support Services in Southeast Michigan
- Virtual Events Are Now in Metro Parent’s Calendar
- Handling Kids’ Behavior During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Helping Your High School Senior Cope with COVID
- Where Kids Can Pick Up Free School Lunches During COVID
- 24 Online Learning Resources for Kids
- 18 Educational YouTube Channels for Kids to Watch
- 10 Tips for Digital At-Home Learning During COVID-19
- An Overwhelmed Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling
- Virtual Classes and Activities for Kids
- 10 Ways One Local Mom is Teaching Her Kids From Home
- 10 Podcasts You’ll Enjoy Listening With Your Kids
- 4 Easy Ways to Host a Virtual Playdate
- 9 Cool Science Experiments to Try at Home
- Virtual Storytimes with Authors, Actors and Celebrities
- Virtual Events for Babies & Toddlers
- Virtual Events for Teens & Tweens
- Kids Are Putting Up Rainbows on Windows While Quarantined
- 6 Classic Kids Games to Play as a Family
- 7 Board Games to Play with Your Kids
- Best Family Movies and Shows that Just Hit Streaming Services
- Must-Try Kid-Friendly Recipes
- How to Make an Indoor Obstacle Course
- Indoor Activities for Kids of All Abilities
- Download This Free Monster Coloring Book
- Tips to Work From Home With Kids (and Not Go Insane)
- 5 Ways to Support Small Businesses at Home While Stuck Inside
- Make the Most of Your Food Delivery Options
- 5 Homemade Cleaning Products to Help Fight Germs
- How to Help Out Your Community From Home
- KonMari for Families
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:
- 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 WHO does not recommend healthy individuals wear masks or take antibiotics (again, there is no medication that can prevent COVID-19).
In addition, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by your pets.
Cancellations, closings and postponed events
On March 16, President Trump issued new guidelines to limit gatherings of more than 10 people, thus most events in southeast Michigan have either been canceled or postponed.
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 “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, which temporarily suspended operations of all “non-essential” businesses including restaurants, museums and other venues through at least April 14. (As of April 1, it’s looking like that will like be longer, though this is not yet official.)
For more information on this order and how it applies to you, check out our post on it here.
Here’s how it affected schools and venues in our area:
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 have adopted online coursework for the remainder of the semester. Some of those closures include, but aren’t limited to:
- Concordia University Ann Arbor
- Eastern Michigan University
- Grand Valley State University
- Lawrence Technological University
- Macomb Community College
- Michigan State University
- Michigan Technological University
- Oakland University
- Saginaw State University
- Washtenaw Community College
- Wayne State University
- Western Michigan University
Note: Again, this is not an exhaustive list. Please check with your local schools for more information.
Virtually all recreation venues have either closed or limited activities during 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.
For more information on COVID-19, how it’s affecting our area and additional services or activities, visit our Coronavirus Help page.
This post was originally published in April 2020 and is updated regularly.