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Census Workers to Begin Visiting Households

In-person census survey visits historically have helped boost participation among communities of color and other underrepresented groups. (Adobe Stock)
In-person census survey visits historically have helped boost participation among communities of color and other underrepresented groups. (Adobe Stock)
June 23, 2020

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Census workers will hit the ground in person next month, gearing up efforts to contact households that have not yet responded to the national survey.

Door-to-door visits will continue through the end of October, as the agency recently extended the response deadline to account for delays brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Chief of the U.S. Census Bureau's Public Information Office Michael Cook says the agency has been in contact with local public health authorities, and has determined field staff will be able to conduct operations safely.

"So they aren't actually talking to individuals, they aren't touching individuals," says Cook. "They are dropping off a packet at the household and then leaving. So it's a contactless operation."

Cook says census employees will be required to adhere to social-distancing guidelines and will be provided with personal protective equipment. The census also has asked Congress to extend the December deadline for reporting survey results to the president.

As of the beginning of April, around 43% of Arkansas households have responded to the questionnaire.

Cook says the bureau still is looking for people to apply as census takers and organizers.

"We're now resuming those processes as we resume those field operations, so we encourage people to go to 2020census.gov/jobs for more information," says Cook.

He says households still can fill out the survey online by visiting 2020Census.gov or by phone at 844-330-202. According to data from the Census Bureau, so far around 60% of households - more than 90 million - have responded to the survey.

Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - AR