Coronavirus Disrupting 2020 Census
CORONAVIRUS IS MAKING IT HARDER TO HIRE CENSUS WORKERS AND FOR THEM TO DO THEIR JOBS
(CNN) – As more Americans limit social interactions due to coronavirus fears, the last thing on their minds might be responding to the Census.
This year’s census will rely on mail, phone and online responses more than ever before.
But, it still needs thousands of workers to knock on doors and collect information by interviewing people.
At this time during the 2010 Census, 145,000 temporary workers were doing just that.
Right now, under 24,000 are doing it.
Much of that is because it’s harder for the census bureau to find workers and the ones they do have don’t have good guidance on doing their jobs in the wake of social distancing.
It’s particularly challenging for them to reach minorities, college students, senior citizens and the homeless.
These populations are least likely to respond to the Census survey on their own and also at highest risk of contracting the COVID-19.
The Census Bureau has until December to send its final counts to the president and Congress.
The clock is ticking faster on in-person outreach to unresponsive residents that usually occurs April through July.