Even with the times being as unusual as they are, the Census must be taken seriously. This is a crucial time for all and the Census may prove to be more important now than ever to determine where future funds will be distributed.
The good news is that nearly half of the nation has already responded to the 2020 Census. If you have not already, please respond to the census as soon as you can (NOW!) by phone, paper, or online. Even though field operation has been delayed, the key reference date for the 2020 Census — April 1, 2020 — did not change. When responding to the Census, please note that you will be asked to include everyone who usually lives and sleeps in your home as of April 1, 2020.
As a reminder, it has never been easier to self-respond to the census! You can easily respond online at 2020census.gov using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. A Census ID is not required to respond — you may click on the link that says “click here if you do not have a census ID” and enter your address. Additional options include responding by calling 844-330-2020 or returning your paper form by mail.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations in order to:
-Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees.
-Implement guidance from federal, state and local authorities.
-Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.
The Census Bureau temporarily suspended 2020 Census field data collection activities in March. Steps are already being taken to reactivate field offices beginning June 1, 2020, in preparation for the resumption of field data collection operations as quickly as possible following June 1.
In-person activities, including all interaction with the public, enumeration, office work and processing activities, will incorporate the most current guidance to promote the health and safety of staff and the public. This will include recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing practices.
Once 2020 Census data collection is complete, the Census Bureau begins a lengthy, thorough and scientifically rigorous process to produce the apportionment counts, redistricting information and other statistical data products that help guide hundreds of billions of dollars in public and private sector spending per year.
In order to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau is seeking statutory relief from Congress of 120 additional calendar days to deliver final apportionment counts.
Under this plan, the Census Bureau would extend the window for field data collection and self-response to October 31, 2020, which will allow for apportionment counts to be delivered to the President by April 30, 2021, and redistricting data to be delivered to the states no later than July 31, 2021.
(Thank you to Michelle L. Elison with the U.S. Census Bureau for this information.)