ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Monday enacted an executive order expanding the state’s efforts to support health care facilities in addressing staffing shortages. In addition, the state’s health metrics continue to substantially improve, with COVID-19 hospitalizations dropping at the fastest rate in the United States.
Monday’s executive order takes the following actions:
- Provides more licensing flexibility for pharmacists and technicians to help support the pharmacy workforce. Pharmacies are conducting a number of critical COVID-19 functions, including testing and vaccination clinics.
- Expands the state’s initiative to allow nursing students to serve as licensed practitioners by also including Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), and Certified Medical Technicians (CMTs).
- Allows respiratory therapy students to assist in augmenting the emergency medical services (EMS) workforce.
“We continue to take short-term actions to support our health care workforce as it deals with the Omicron wave,” said Governor Hogan. “All of the data continues to show very encouraging trends, with many of our key health metrics consistently and substantially declining. We ask Marylanders to remain vigilant, to keep doing the things that can keep us safe, and to get boosted for maximum protection against these variants.”
COVID-19 Hospitalizations in Maryland Declining At Fastest Rate in the United States
Monday’s actions come as COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland are dropping at the fastest rate in the United States. Since peaking at 3,462 on January 11, hospitalizations have dropped by 32.6% to 2,330. Maryland is one of eight states where COVID-19 hospitalizations have declined over the last two weeks.
State Surpasses 40% of 5- to 11-Year-Olds Vaccinated
Maryland has seen a significant increase in vaccinations of school-aged children since the beginning of 2022, and is now reporting 40.5% of 5- to 11-year-olds vaccinated. State officials continue to encourage parents to get their school-aged children vaccinated as soon as possible.