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Text with The Texas Tribune for COVID-19 news

Used vaccine needles in a hazard waste bin at a 24-hour vaccination event at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex on March 6, 2021, in Austin. Family Hospital Systems hosted the drive-thru vaccine event with an 80s theme and equipped to vaccinate 7,000 people.
Used vaccine needles in a hazard waste bin at a 24-hour vaccination event at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex on March 6, 2021, in Austin. Family Hospital Systems hosted the drive-thru vaccine event with an 80s theme and equipped to vaccinate 7,000 people.

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At least 89 Texas hospitals were out of ICU beds last week. The state is close to breaking its record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. And just 46% of Texans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while about 8 million eligible Texans haven’t gotten a single dose.

By some measures, this wave of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations could be the worst yet in Texas — which is why The Texas Tribune is using its texting service to help keep Texas residents informed of the latest COVID-19 news and trends. To sign up, text “hello” to 512-967-6919, visit this page or enter your details below.

Here’s what you can expect: crucial news about mask mandates, vaccine boosters and more to keep you informed and safe as hospitalizations surge across the state.

We are using a service called Subtext to help us make this happen for our audiences. You can read more about Subtext here. It does not sell user data or phone numbers to advertisers or other third parties.

This is the same service we used in February when a winter storm knocked out much of the state’s power grid and left millions without heat and water. Our readers told us they appreciated our updates over text then, and we’ve received positive feedback so far about our COVID-19 updates. We don’t know right now what this service will always look like moving forward — but we would love our audience’s input. You can email us your feedback at community@texastribune.org. Or you can just text it to us now.

Join us Sept. 20-25 at the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival. Tickets are on sale now for this multi-day celebration of big, bold ideas about politics, public policy and the day’s news, curated by The Texas Tribune’s award-winning journalists. Learn more.