I’ve been working in the field for the 2020 Decennial Census “Group Quarters Operation.” This means I’ve been conducting advance contact with group quarters, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, and housing for religious people. Some of my GQ field supervisor colleagues have been assigned to college dorms and other locations where groups of people are housed — or would be housed but for the closing of most/all dorms in the state. I have also been undergoing training to assist with the SBE (Service-based Enumerator) Operation, which was set to begin March 30, 31 and April 1 at shelters, soup kitchens and outdoor unsheltered encampments.
I received a call this morning that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the protection of those being counted and those conducting the count, the operation is suspended until April Fool’s Day (which is also officially “Census Day”). The pandemic is wreaking havoc with many things, and the Federal Decennial Census (taken once every 10 years) is no exception.
In the meantime, individual households will be receiving a notification with instructions regarding three options to respond. For the first time ever, the census is offering an online option in addition to participating by phone or by completing a paper form. The goal is for a COMPLETE COUNT. Why? Because an accurate account leads to appropriate allocation of funding for community needs, as well as representation in Congress. Your participation matters!
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