COVID-19 & the Census
The 2020 Census is happening now. It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone, or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker. Taking time to respond to the 2020 Census now means a census taker will not need to visit your home later. Census takers will visit households that do not respond to the 2020 Census.
Coronavirus Impact on 2020 Census Operations
On March 15, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau announced some adjustments to 2020 Census operations to protect the health and safety of the public and its staff, while fulfilling its statutory requirements for delivery of its counts on schedule. The press release can be found on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website.
The U.S. Census Bureau will closely follow guidance from public health authorities when conducting this operation, as they do when conducting all field operations. If the U.S. Census Bureau needs to delay or discontinue nonresponse follow-up visits in a community, they will adapt their operation to ensure a complete and accurate count.
Currently, the deadline for data collection for the 2020 Census has been extended to October 31, 2020, but that date may continue to be adjusted as the situation evolves. The start of certain operations will be delayed. March 12 through April 1, the U.S. Census Bureau is mailing out census invitations nationwide. Every household will receive their invite by April 1 with information about how to respond online, by mail, or by phone.
2020 Census Operations that are being modified include the following:
- Mobile Questionnaire Assistance will be offered fully across the country on April 13, delaying from the previously planned start of March 30
- Nonresponse Follow-up operations with census takers are planned to begin on April 23, delaying from April 9
- Working with group quarter administrators, including nursing homes, college dorms, prisons, and other institutional living facilities, encouraging counting methods like eResponse that minimize in-person contact
Guidance for Community Partners
Community partners are encouraged to follow guidance from public health authorities regarding events and group activities – including those related to the 2020 Census. The latest guidance and updates about COVID-19 in Pennsylvania can be found at the PA Department of Health webpage.