DHEC director takes leave during pandemic because of health concerns

State - Regional

Rick Toomey

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The chief of South Carolina’s public health agency is taking temporary medical leave to combat high blood pressure, an absence officials say won’t affect response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Director Rick Toomey told Department of Health and Environmental Control employees in an email Thursday that he’s taking a two-to-three-week leave to treat the issue, which he said has not been responsive to medication changes since a visit to a chest pain center several weeks ago.

Toomey’s leave was first reported by The State newspaper.

In his absence, Toomey said general counsel Marshall Taylor will serve as interim director.

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