Census field operations set to resume

The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with federal, state and local health officials, will begin a phased restart of some 2020 Census field operations next week in Central Texas.

Counties that may see census-takers include Hays, Caldwell, Blanco and Guadalupe.

All returning staff will receive safety training to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment. They will also use government-provided personal protective equipment (PPE) for their safety and the safety of the public. The Census Bureau has ordered face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for all field staff, including those who work in the field offices.

As part of the phased restart of operations, the Census Bureau will resume dropping off 2020 Census invitation packets at front doors of households in areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their home. This operation is also known as Update Leave. About 5 percent of households are counted in the Update Leave operation, where census workers will confirm or update a household’s physical location and then leave a census questionnaire packet.

The Census Bureau began delivering census materials to these households on March 15; however, this operation was suspended on March 18 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Update Leave operation does not require interaction between households and a Census Bureau employee and follows the most current federal health and safety guidelines. Area Census Office (ACO) staff will begin returning to the office as necessary to support the Update Leave operation, as well.

The associate director for Decennial Programs leads the operational team making the decision to restart select operations within an ACO, driven by the assessment of career Census Bureau operational leadership; a thorough review of the operating status of a state, locality or tribal area; the key data that support that operating status as identified by federal, state and local guidance; and the ability of Census Bureau staff to safely resume operations, including the procurement of PPE.

Households that receive the 2020 Census invitation packets are strongly encouraged to respond promptly to the 2020 Census using the census ID included in the questionnaire packet. People can respond online, by phone or by completing and returning the paper form by mail. Responding with the census ID or by completing and returning the paper questionnaire helps ensure the best count of their community.

For more information, please visit the 2020 Census COVID-19 operational adjustments page.

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