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U.S. Census taking place now – residents encouraged to participate online

March 27, 2020 | Local News

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

The U.S. Census Bureau released the initial response rates for every state, county and city across the nation and as of March 18, 11 million households have responded to the 2020 Census, despite the current COVID-19 or novel coronavirus pandemic, since invitations began arriving in mailboxes on March 12.

Beginning March 18, in support of guidance on what we can all do to help slow the spread of COVID-19, 2020 Census field operations were suspended for two weeks until April 1, 2020. During this pause in field operations, the Census Bureau will continue to evaluate all 2020 Census operations. Until then residents are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the ability to complete the census online using a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and can also respond by phone or mail.

Berthoud residents should have received a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau with an individual 2020 Census ID number and instructions for completing the census online. Depending on the size of your household the process takes less than 10 minutes to complete. If you need help completing the questionnaire you can call toll-free 1-844-330-2020.

In a press release from the U.S. Census Bureau it was suggested that if anyone responding to the 2020 Census online experiences a session that terminates unexpectedly, they should close-out and use a different internet browser. “To protect the integrity of the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau is using industry-leading artificial intelligence services to protect responses. We are continuously monitoring and refining these security measures in order to enable all legitimate responses while maintaining security,” the release said.

Tentatively in late May, census takers around the nation will begin visiting households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census to help complete the count. As the US Census Bureau continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, they will adjust census taker and survey operations as necessary in order to follow the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States as of April 1, 2020 (Census Day).

The importance of the census can’t be overstated. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually including programs that promote the well-being of individuals, families and children for the next 10 years.

During a census kickoff event in a remote village in Alaska in January U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham said, “The 2020 Census is critically important. No matter where you live, you need to be counted,” said Dillingham. “From the most remote parts of our country to the most urban, there is too much at stake — we are working to make sure everyone can respond and have the opportunity to shape their communities’ future.”

Currently, the planned completion date for data collection for the 2020 Census is July 31, 2020, however, that date can and will be adjusted if necessary, as the current COVID-19 pandemic situation evolves to achieve a complete and accurate count.

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