CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - DHEC Director Rick Toomey announced during a Wednesday afternoon press conference that he was resigning and his last day will be June 10. Marshall Taylor will be acting director on June 11.
Toomey said he looks forward to spending time with his family.
He said part of the decision to step down was based on a health condition that transpired six weeks ago regarding high blood pressure.
“It made me take a step back and say,'Where do I want to be, what do I want to do?' Toomey said. “So while I think that I have done a good job, I know the next man up or the next woman up will be a wonderful leader for DHEC as well.”
Gov. Henry McMaster said Toomey has done a “splendid” job for DHEC and the people of South Carolina.
“I can’t think of how it could have done a better job with a very supportive board, and a great staff,” McMaster said. “We’ve made some great decisions, taking some great steps that have been highly visible.”
During Wednesday’s press conference, McMaster said although businesses are reopening and restrictions are being lifted throughout the state, South Carolinians still need to be careful and practice social distancing.
“The virus is still here and is just as deadly as it was before,” McMaster said during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not weaker than it was before, it’s just as strong as it was before. It can be fatal. So we must be careful.”
McMaster said the state is in a positive course with more testing be done.
The governor said he is confident in what the state has accomplished in relation to the virus and the reopening of businesses.
“If we continue with the testing, the tracking, and if people continue their social distancing then confidence in our full acceleration should be high,” he said.
You can watch the whole press conference below or click here.