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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Justin Lewis had 15 points as Marquette topped Northern Illinois 80-66 on Saturday night.

Tyler Kolek had 12 points for the Golden Eagles (6-1), who won their fourth straight at home. Stevie Mitchell added 11 points.

Keshawn Williams had 17 points for the Huskies (1-5), whose losing streak stretched to five games.

Zool Kueth added 14 points. Kaleb Thornton had 12 points and seven assists.

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Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 14,422 new cases, 149 deaths

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 14,422 new COVID cases and 149 related deaths Thursday.

There have been 2,881,721 total COVID cases, including 30,568 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

FDA halts use of monoclonal antibody drugs from Regeneron, Eli Lilly that don't work vs. omicron

The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 13.8%, down from 14.6%.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 224,498 new specimens for a total of 50,583,769 since the pandemic began.

As of Wednesday night, 4,824 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 864 patients were in the ICU and 485 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

SEE ALSO | Here's how to get free N95 masks from pharmacies or community health centers

A total of 23,021,595 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Wednesday and 61.92% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 38,148.

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Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady answers questions about COVID in Chicago.



While thousands of people remain in Illinois hospitals with COVID, hospitalizations and ICU numbers are flattening and case numbers are decreasing as omicron has hit its peak.

Yet, drug companies are beginning trials for a tweaked vaccine that targets the variant.

"Timing is everything, you obviously can't have the vaccine the day a variant comes out, so by the time it is available omicron might be in the rear view mirror," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Dept. of Public Health.

RELATED | What to know about BA.2, new omicron subvariant detected in several US states

Or, omicron continues to circulate and a new adapted vaccine will give us a leg up on the next variant. A new one labeled "stealth omicron" has been detected in the United States.

"It's certainly worth a try to have vaccines ready and have then tested in the event we have to deal with further omicron infections or a variant of omicron that becomes dominant," UIC Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Richard Novak said.

Novak says it is how vaccine development for the flu has worked for years.

"We don't know for sure which flu viruses will circulate, but the vaccines are made well in advance of the flu season in order to have the vaccine ready," he said.

And while flu shot rates are not great, there is concern there may be some vaccine fatigue if people need to take yet another COVID dose.

"We don't know what is in store, but we are grateful the current vaccines have been able to do the job and keep fully vaccinated people out of the hospital," Ezike said.

While Pfizer and Moderna work on a tweaked vaccine for Omicron, the U.S. government is aggressively pushing drug companies to come up with a universal vaccine that would work well against any COVID variant.

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