Rhode Island has had its first case of a rare but serious inflammatory condition in children that has been linked to the coronavirus, state Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott said Friday.

The child was diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome Thursday and tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, she said. The child is in the hospital.

Other than the fact that the child is a girl and of “school age,” no additional personal information was disclosed.

The arrival of the syndrome in Rhode Island was expected, Alexander-Scott said.

Alexander-Scott stressed that the condition, although potentially fatal, is rare and not contagious in and of itself.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about the condition in mid-May. The agency’s case definition includes a fever of at least 100.4 for at least 24 hours, inflammatory markers in blood tests, and evidence of problems affecting at least two organs that could include the heart, kidneys, lungs or skin.

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NEW CASES DROP

The health department on Friday reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional coronavirus-related deaths.

The 25 new cases from Thursday was the lowest single-day total since March 24.

The number of people hospitalized dropped to 91 as of Tuesday, the latest day for which the data was available, the lowest daily number of hospitalizations since March 29.

All seven of the new deaths were people in their 70s or older, Alexander-Scott said. The state’s death toll from the virus is now 927.

Alexander-Scott on Friday also gave an update on coronavirus at the state veterans’ home in Bristol. She said there were 19 positive cases among residents, and five deaths, all in residents with underlying health conditions.

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IMMUNIZATIONS

Gov. Gina Raimondo urged parents to make sure their children’s immunizations are up to date before schools open in late August.

There has been a “precipitous” dropoff in the number of pediatric immunizations in the state during the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic governor said, opening the door for another health crisis in the fall.

There was a 52% reduction in pediatric immunization rates among children ages 2 to 7 in April and May, she said.

Parents of all children under 2, 4, 11, and 16 should make an appointment with their pediatrician to get immunized, she said.

Raimondo said she would wait until Monday to discuss phase 3 of the state’s economic reopening plan, and possible travel restrictions or conditions for people coming to Rhode Island from out of state.

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FIRST AMENDMENT SANCTUARY

A Rhode Island town has passed a resolution declaring itself a “First Amendment Sanctuary” and finding the governor's executive orders designed to control what it refers to as the “Wuhan-origin” coronavirus as unconstitutional.

The Burrillville Town Council passed the measure 5-2 on Wednesday night.

“When these executive orders infringe on the constitutional rights of the people of Burrillville, I believe the Town Council has a right to protect them and should not fund those executive orders,” said Councilman Donald Fox, who voted in favor of the measure, according WJAR-TV.

Some were concerned about their effect on the economy. “Our local businesses, many of them are being crushed by this,” Councilman Stephen Rawson said.

Councilman Dennis Anderson, who voted against it, told The Providence Journal he agreed there has been some overreach by political leaders, but “I was pretty sure this would get misconstrued and create unnecessary controversy.”

Raimondo defended the constitutionality of the executive orders Friday.

“We feel very confident that I'm on firm footing in a state of emergency, to do what's necessary to keep people safe" she said.

Burrillville, with about 16,000 residents, declared itself a “Second Amendment Sanctuary" last year.

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URI REOPENING PLAN

The University of Rhode Island plans to reopen in the fall with a shorter in-person academic calendar and reduced on-campus housing capacity, the school announced Thursday.

The fall semester will begin Sept. 9, and in-person classes will be held through Nov. 25. Classes will continue online until the end of the semester Dec. 14. Finals will be given online.

The schedule is designed to prevent students from returning to campus after traveling for the Thanksgiving break.

The university will reduce the capacity of its on-campus housing from 6,200 spaces to 4,400 spaces. Priority for on-campus living will be given to first-year students, out-of-state students and students with special needs.

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Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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