Today we bring you updates on the U Of I COVID-19 test, tips for choosing a health plan, doing your taxes during the pandemic, a look at summer 2021, and more from Illinois Newsroom and The 21st.
The University of Illinois’ COVID-19 testing process has received Emergency Use Authorization from the federal Food and Drug Administration. The U of I says that as a result of the authorization, Governor J.B. Pritzker has released $20 million in federal CARES Act funding to expand the process to Illinois’ other public universities.
If you lack health insurance, or you want to change your marketplace coverage, you have until May 15 to sign up for options offered through the Affordable Care Act. Free help is available through federally certified application counselors.
Illinois and other states across the country recently called on the federal government to waive requirements for federally-mandated standardized testing this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thousands of children across Illinois missed out on outdoor opportunities through summer camp last year, when COVID-19 caused the cancellation of hundreds of camps and activities in 2020. This year, camp directors say they’re determined to get kids back outside.

Americans are becoming more afraid. Whether it’s fear of corrupt government officials, climate change or not having enough money — all three rank in the top 10 according to a recent study. The 21st spoke with best-selling author and U of I alum Luvvie Ajayi Jones about her new book, “Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual.

Many Americans rely on free, in-person filing help to get the most out of their federal return. In a pandemic though, many people could miss out on help when they need it most and when there are a lot of questions around how the pandemic could affect our finances. Two Illinois accounting experts joined The 21st to answer some of these questions as tax season gets underway.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, attacks on Asian Americans have risen across the country and in Illinois. There's also a long history of anti-Asian sentiment in America. The 21st spoke with a researcher and an anti-hate training coordinator about how bystanders can help if an incident is happening in front of them.
Have a question? Feedback? You can email us, find us on social or text TALK to 217-803-0730.
Thanks for reading! We will have more news from around the state next week.

P.S. Did a friend forward you this email? Subscribe here, and you'll get the most important statewide news in your inbox.