AUSTIN (KXAN) — In anticipation of an increased need for nurses to treat COVID-19 patients, Gov. Greg Abbott waived some state regulations to increase the number of nurses available to work.

The Governor announced the changes Saturday afternoon in a news release. The release listed three actions aimed at expanding the state’s nursing workforce.

The governor’s action allows retired nurses to reactivate their licenses. He ordered the state to allow temporary permit extensions to graduate nurses and graduate vocational nurses who have not yet taken a licensing exam. The state will also allow students in their final year of nursing school to exceed the current limit on simulated experiences to meet their clinical objectives.

“In the coming weeks and months, Texas will continue to see a growing need for medical professionals to help us respond to these unique and challenging times,” Abbott said in the release. “With these actions, Texas is taking an important step to meet that need.”

The order comes two days after Gov. Abbott issued a series of executive orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Texas. In a virtual town hall broadcast Thursday on Nexstar Media Group stations across Texas, the Governor warned that “tens of thousands” of Texans could test positive for COVID-19 in the next two weeks.