Census undergoes changes amid coronavirus pandemic; key timeline extended

The 2020 census is pressing forward despite the coronavirus pandemic, but it, like so many others, is having to adjust its process as a result.The unfolding pandemic has changed the bureau’s approach — starting with its normal door-to-door operations. “We currently have suspended all field work as well as hiring of potential new hires for our response follow-up activities which would happen later this fall,” Michael Cook, of the Census Bureau, said.The original goal was 2.7 million applicants, whittled down to 500,000 to do those door-to-door follow ups. But from the start, self-response was preferred.”We encourage people to do that because when you self respond you don’t have to come into contact with a census taker,” Cook said.There are three ways to respond — online, over the phone or by mailing back a census questionnaire.Cook said 50 million households have already responded to the 2020 census.The census affects how federal money goes to schools, public transportation and low-income housing programs, among other factors, so the anonymous data helps you and your community. A self-response period was originally set for July 31, but that cutoff has been extended to Aug. 14.”This is the first time that the census has been taken during a pandemic and caused us to change our operations,” Cook said.

The 2020 census is pressing forward despite the coronavirus pandemic, but it, like so many others, is having to adjust its process as a result.

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The unfolding pandemic has changed the bureau’s approach — starting with its normal door-to-door operations.

“We currently have suspended all field work as well as hiring of potential new hires for our response follow-up activities which would happen later this fall,” Michael Cook, of the Census Bureau, said.

The original goal was 2.7 million applicants, whittled down to 500,000 to do those door-to-door follow ups. But from the start, self-response was preferred.

“We encourage people to do that because when you self respond you don’t have to come into contact with a census taker,” Cook said.

There are three ways to respond — online, over the phone or by mailing back a census questionnaire.

Cook said 50 million households have already responded to the 2020 census.

The census affects how federal money goes to schools, public transportation and low-income housing programs, among other factors, so the anonymous data helps you and your community.

A self-response period was originally set for July 31, but that cutoff has been extended to Aug. 14.

“This is the first time that the census has been taken during a pandemic and caused us to change our operations,” Cook said.