How COVID-19 affects Census 2020
U.S. Census Bureau Updates on COVID-19 and its Effect on Operation
The U.S. Census Bureau (Census Bureau) released a March 11th COVID-19 press release and March 15th Group Quarters press release on COVID-19. They have confirmed they are encouraging self-response methods online, by phone, or by mail to ensure a Census Bureau employee does not have to visit the home to complete the Census.
The Census Bureau has encouraged the following messaging: “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.”
This is the perfect time to encourage self-response to bring a benefit out of a bad situation. This will encourage early self-response during a time when more people are asked to stay home which could increase the chances of a complete and accurate count regardless of displacement from the pandemic.
Students who are temporarily displaced because of COVID-19 should still be counted as though they are living where they normally would be. This ensures they are accurately counted per the residence criteria being the place they live and sleep most.
On-campus students who are currently offsite due to COVID-19 closures are normally counted at the institution by the Census Bureau. This furthers the general messaging that parents should also be informed that students living on-campus are traditionally counted at their institution by the Census Bureau through group quarter enumeration.
Early Nonresponse Follow-Up Operations, which happen often in college towns, will have a delayed start of April 23. There should be messaging for college towns to ensure off-campus students know to complete their Census form with roommates as though they were still living where they would normally be. Only one resident of the house or apartment needs to complete the form for all residents staying there normally.
The Census Bureau Group Quarters is contacting service providers like emergency and transitional shelters, soup kitchens and regularly scheduled mobile food vans to determine whether they will be open between March 30 and April 1 and whether they would be able to provide a paper listing of census response data for each person served or staying at the facility instead of the traditional March 30-April 1 in-person interviews.
Contact the U.S. Census Bureau's Atlanta Regional Office for concerns on group quarter enumeration in the state of Georgia:
Atlanta Regional Office
101 Marietta Street, NW, Suite 3200
Atlanta, GA 30303-2700
(404) 730-3832 or 1-800-424-6974
FAX: (404) 730-3835
TDD: (404) 730-3963