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Governor Hogan signs order to boost staff at hospitals, nursing homes

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed an executive order to expand staffing in hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies.

The order signed Monday provides licensing flexibility for pharmacists and technicians to help support the pharmacy workforce.

It also expands an initiative to allow nursing students to serve as licensed practitioners by including licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, and certified medical technicians.

The order allows respiratory therapy students to assist in increasing the emergency medical services workforce.

Also, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are dropping. The governor's office says since peaking at 3,462 on Jan. 11, they have fallen nearly 33% to 2,330.