ROCKPORT, Texas — When Code 3 ER suddenly closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in late March, it left Aransas County without a functioning emergency room.
“That’s hard on the public -- the people of Aransas County," county judge Burt Mills said. "If you have to drive 30 minutes to get to the closest ER, that can be too long.”
That concern was put to rest Tuesday when Corpus Christi Medical Center opened ER 24/7 Rockport in the same building that once housed Code 3.
"It’s a new year, and we’re really looking forward to new beginnings here in Rockport," CCMC president and CEO Eric Evans said.
Emergency room leaders say the facility will have most of the capabilities of any other ER, including treating heart attacks, strokes, and major traumas.
"The sooner we take care of the patient, the higher the chance that they will survive or not having any medical issues long term,” said CCMC Regional Medical Director Dr. Juan Ramirez.
Rockport Mayor Pat Rios is happy to once again have a functioning ER in town, but he gives credit elsewhere for the facility's opening.
“The county took the lead on this, and we really appreciate that,” Rios said.
Local economic leaders say the ER opening will benefit Aransas County residents and its many visitors.
“That is really something people look for is how close is the nearest ER," Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce board member Courtney Sanchez said. "And now we’re very proud to say that it’s right here in town.”
One woman who's lived in Rockport for 30 years is relieved that emergency room care is back -- especially for Aransas County's large elderly population.
“Oh, I think it’s wonderful," Kay Wylson said. "Rockport needs it. We’re a lot of 80-plus people -- 80 year old people here.”