Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a State of Emergency on Friday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.

According to the Governor, the emergency is an effort to support the state’s frontline heroes. Ivey called this a “limited” state of emergency, not accompanied by a public health order, a report by WAFF 48 said.

“I am really proud that over the last month, Alabama has seen more than a 100% increase – the highest in the country – in COVID-19 vaccines being administered," Ivey said in a statement.

“Let me be crystal clear: Alabama remains open for business. Alabamians do not need the government telling us what to do or how to do it. Unlike last year when we were hoping for a miracle, our greatest weapon against covid-19 today is the vaccine, so, if you can, roll up your sleeve and get the shot," she added.

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According to the press release from the Governor's office, the state of emergency will provide the health care community greater flexibility to offer care for patients coming through their doors.

The state officials are encouraging Alabamians to mask up to slow the spread and preserve hospital capacity through this wave, in addition to getting a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Department of Health and Human Services data, nearly 30% of hospitals in the state of Alabama reported a "critical staffing shortage" last week. Many more hospitals have anticipated a "critical staffing shortage" within a week, Alabama's local media reported.

The governor’s office said in the emergency order that it would relax regulatory burdens to allow expanded capacity in healthcare facilities, additional liability protections, increased authority for frontline health care personnel and easier shipment of emergency equipment and supplies.