A census taker won’t be making the rounds door-to-door to people’s homes anytime soon.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, due to COVID-19, there have been several adjustments to operations and revised schedules in the 2020 census taking procedures.

Highlights

Highlights of the changes are as follows:

 The self-response phase deadline has been extended from March 12-July 31, to March 12-Aug. 14. The public is strongly encouraged to respond online. Options for responding by phone or mail are also available.

 The Update Leave process has been delayed from March 15-April 17 to March 29-May 1.

Census takers will drop off invitations at the front doors of five million households. These households can respond online now — even without their invitation — by providing their address.

 Mobile Questionnaire Assistance has been delayed from March 30-July 31 to April 13-Aug. 14.

Census Bureau staff will assist people with responding online at places such as grocery stores and community centers.

 Non-response follow-ups and reinterviews have been delayed from May 13-July 31 to May 28-Aug. 14.

Census takers will interview households in person that have not responded online, by phone or by mail.

“Doing your civic duty”

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) said it’s a good idea that the census deadlines are being delayed.

“Right now, people are still getting them in the mail and can complete them online,” he said, adding the census can’t do the face-to-face knocking on doors and that was originally part of having a complete count.

“The idea is to get as many people as possible to do it online,” he said. “Knocking on doors is more labor intensive and expensive.”

Duff said while everyone is home right now and may have a little extra time on their hands, “it’s very easy and quick to do online.”

“It took me less than 10 minutes, and you are doing your civic duty,” he added.

Responding to the census helps every community get a more accurate share of the federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other programs.

According to Duff, every person who is not counted for the census in Connecticut means the loss of $2,900 in federal aid.

“It’s important for everybody to fill it out. It helps all of us when we are looking for federal grants,” he said.

He added that the census means more than just how many Congressional Representatives and Electoral Votes there are.

“At times like this and every other time in between, the Census information is the ‘go to’ point of information when it comes to resources from the federal government,” Duff added.

Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said she appreciates that the schedule has been modified to account for the current crisis.

“The census process and information garnered from it is very important and I believe the delays and extensions will help produce a more reliable result for Darien and our state,” she said.

Despite the extensions and delays, however, the delivery of state population counts to the president (Dec. 31) and the delivery of local counts to each state (April 1, 2021) remain the same.

Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau is still applications for temporary part-time positions with the 2020 Census. Apply at 2020census.gov/jobs.

For more information on 2020 census operational adjustments due to COVID-19, visit 2020 Census.gov.

sfox@darientimes.com