ROCKPORT, Texas — Aransas County lost its only functioning emergency room at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in April when medical company Code 3 closed its ER in Rockport.
Since then, many of the county's residents have had to make up-to-a 30-minute drive to reach the nearest open emergency room.
Corpus Christi Medical Center announced Tuesday that it plans to changes that sometime this winter.
“Residents of Aransas and surrounding counties will soon have local access to world-class medical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” CCMC Chief Executive Officer Eric Evans said in a news release.
The news was well-received among county leaders and residents.
"I’m so thankful to hear that they’re reopening," Rockport resident Lynne Kiley said. "We need it!"
The building that housed Code 3 ER may be reopening, but that company is no longer involved. CCMC is now leasing the building, and will run the emergency room.
“It was very difficult, people having to travel back-and-forth to (other communities for medical care) or having to wait," Aransas County Medical Services, Inc. Executive Director Patricia Arnold said. "I think having medical (facilities) here is the best thing for us.”
Arnold, whose nonprofit helps coordinate the medical services in Aransas County, expects the change will lead to better health care for her community.
"Having Corpus Christi Medical Center come in -- it’s a huge medical corporation -- and they would be able to assist more of our community than I think what Code 3 would have been," she said, referring to CCMC's parent company HCA Healthcare.
Kiley isn't concerned about which company will be in charge: She's just happy to hear the building will once again be a functioning emergency room.
“Whoever made the decision to come back, made the right one,” she said.
CCMC did not provide a specific opening date for the facility it plans to call ER 24/7 Rockport. The company would only say it will happen sometime this winter.