COVID-19 in Chicago Updates: What Parents Need to Know

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic began in Illinois back in 2020 and even now, it’s still hard for us not have coronavirus on our minds. As parents, there are so many changes that happened in our lives since then, from keeping our family and others safe by staying home or assisting remote learning with our children.

Back in March 2020, we created this guide to navigate parents during this pandemic. While more and more individuals are getting vaccinated, we still worry about our children under the age of 12 that do not qualify for the vaccine yet. This updated guide below will keep you up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information.

Here is what Chicago parents need to know about the coronavirus pandemic, including prevention tips, remote learning, family-safe activities and ways to help. Stay safe!

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COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

What is coronavirus? Coronaviruses are part of a group of viruses that can cause a mild illness like the common cold. More recently caused by a novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that has caused outbreaks of mild and severe respiratory illness around the world, according to Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Larry Kociolek of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Some precautions families should take:

Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Stay home if sick.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Stay away from other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your area, especially for people who are at higher risk of getting sick.

Wear a face mask if you’re not fully vaccinated and when you’re not able to social distance from others.

Follow the latest information on receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at Illinois Department of Public Health’s website and find more COVID-19 resources below.

MORE RESOURCES

5 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Have a shot-wary kid? Here’s how to prepare them.

What to Do If Your Child Is Exposed to COVID-19

Here are some tips and next steps to follow if your child is exposed.

How to Help Kids Get Used to Being Around People Again

Families are navigating new types of anxieties.

Kids Wearing Face Masks: Here’s What Parents Need to Know

Tips and how to talk to kids about them.

The Delta Variant: What Parents Should Know

A Q&A with a Chicago infectious disease expert on the Delta variant.

Expanded Child Tax Credit: What Families Need to Know

The new monthly child tax credit begins July 15.

How to Plan Activities with Unvaccinated Kids in Mind

What experts suggest for kids ages 2-12.

EDUCATION DURING THE PANDEMIC

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Chicagoland families are dealing with remote learning and transitioning kids back to in-person learning. This has become a challenging time for parents and teachers as they try to navigate students in this new normal.

We’ve covered a variety of education topics over the past year but with back-to-school season around the corner, here are some helpful resources to keep your kids on track for the upcoming school year.

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AT-HOME ACTIVITIES

While the stay-at-home order has been lifted in Illinois, social distancing and quarantining are still important practices to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Families might get bored staying at home, but there are plenty of indoor activities to keep kids busy.

Watching movies is a great way to pass the time, too. Follow our Watch This, Do That series where we feature fun kids’ activities inspired by your favorite movies. Movies that we’ve featured include Black Panther, Frozen, Despicable Me and Mary Poppins.

Find more at-home activities to enjoy with your family below.

COVID-19 IN CHICAGOLAND

Since June 2021, Illinois reached Phase 5 of the state’s Restore Illinois Plan. We are seeing more attractions reopening this summer. We’re also excited to see the return of many of our favorite Chicagoland traditions like summer fests and museum exhibits.

Of course, as the pandemic continues, we have the latest information to keep families up-to-date on how COVID-19 is impacting the Chicago area.

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WAYS TO HELP

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard for our small businesses and communities. We launched our Look for the Helpers series to feature locals that are helping out. For example, a 7-year-old Chicagoan has sold handmade bracelets and has raised more than $14,000 for Lurie Children’s Hospital. A teen donated her new booklet of puzzles to help entertain hospitalized children and seniors in assisted living facilities. Find more ways on how your family can help with these ideas.

7-Year-Old Chicago Girl Sells Bracelets to Raise Money for Hospital Supplies

“I felt scared and now I feel like I have a purpose," she says.

Local Kids Knit to Help Comfort Others During Pandemic

High school student starts nonprofit Knitting ILY.

South Elgin Mom’s Chalk Art Brings Joy to Neighborhood and Beyond

Mom says she receives as much joy as she gives!

Teens Offering Free Tutoring for CPS Students

Walter Payton College Prep student driven by need to help.

Kids Are Putting Up Rainbows on Windows While Quarantined

Families might be stuck inside their homes due to COVID-19 concerns, but you can still share some love during this challenging time. Around the world, children are...