This is an opinion column.

Alabama is getting ready to open field hospitals if it has to.

That’s the thing Gov. Kay Ivey wasn’t eager for you to hear on Friday, or she would have been clear about it in her latest “limited” emergency order. That’s the thing she lacks the courage to say out loud. But that is, perhaps, the most important thing you need to understand about that order.

Alabama is now out of ICU beds. We’re not that far from treating people in tents. It’s bad out there right now. This is not a “limited” or “narrow” emergency, as the governor’s press office tried to qualify it.

This is an emergency. And the governor needs to act like it.

COVID is pushing Alabama health care providers to their breaking point, and hospitals have been forced into compromises. Ivey’s order cleared the legal obstacles for making those changes.

On Friday afternoon — at four o’clock — Ivey’s office issued a press…

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