Cullman, a city in Alabama, where former US president Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally Saturday, has declared a state of emergency because of its rising number of COVID-19 cases.

As the Delta variant of the coronavirus rapid spreads its wings across the United States, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, declared a COVID-19 state of emergency across the state last week, after a surge in coronavirus-related hospitalizations had left 95% of Alabama’s ICU beds occupied.  

Following the decision, the Cullman City Council adopted a resolution on Thursday authorizing the use of emergency services "due to the climbing hospitalizations accredited to COVID-19 and its variants." 

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Cullman Regional Medical Center's chief operating officer requested in a letter dated Wednesday that the city offer fire/EMT and police services "on-site at the event this weekend" so that hospital employees would not be overburdened. A 20-by-40-foot tent, power, and air conditioning were also requested in the letter for the event.

Meanwhile, Trump’s rally, hosted by the Alabama Republican Party, is scheduled to take place at York Family Farms in Cullman, which is about 50 miles north of Birmingham. In an email to supporters Friday, the Trump campaign promised an "EPIC Rally in Alabama."

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Alabama saw 3,890 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with a seven-day moving average of about 3,000 new infections, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid Data Tracker.    

Cullman Regional Medical Center’s latest coronavirus update showed the hospital was treating 53 covid-19-positive patients, with 12 on ventilators. 

The delta variation has wreaked havoc on Alabama, which has the sixth-highest number of COVID cases per capita. Alabama also has the lowest immunisation rate in the country, with state authorities recently having to discard out over 65,000 coronavirus vaccinations that had expired due to poor demand.