Officials with the 2020 Census are changing outreach efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it was suspending all field operations until April 1. Officials are also postponing the date to count homeless residents in New Hampshire.
And in historically undercounted immigrant and refugeee communities, groups are rethinking or postponing mobile assistance centers meant to help people without computers, phones, or internet complete the census online.
Ken Gallager, a planner with the New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives who is helping to coordinate census efforts, says with new CDC guidelines for social distancing, groups need to scrap some face-to-face organizing methods.
“People will need to do things that are online-based and distanced-based, things like a phone bank or a text bank.”
But for most households, census procedures will stay largely the same.
Most have already received mailers or surveys from the Census. The majority are getting mailers with a code to fill out the survey online. People can also complete the survey by phone.
In more remote towns and regions with limited internet, households should have received a paper version of the survey, which they can send back via mail (to see how your region is likely to be contacted by the Census Bureau, click here.)
New Hampshire is still behind in its recruitment goals for census workers, but some workers are currently training online. The Bureau had planned to send them into communities by May but is re-examining its timeline as the pandemic develops.