Census Bureau Nixes All Field Operations Through April 15

March 31, 2020 by Dan McCue
Some of the paper work previously used by census takers. (Boris Yaro/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Census Bureau, which had already suspended its field operations due to the coronavirus outbreak, has announced it will further postpone those operations at least through April 15.

In a written statement, the agency said it made the decision based on continuing assessments it is receiving from federal, state and local health officials.

“The Census Bureau is taking this step to help protect the health and safety of the American public, Census Bureau employees, and everyone who will go through the hiring process for temporary census taker positions,” the statement said.

The agency also reminded the public that the 2020 Census is open for self-response online here, over the phone by calling the number provided in your mailed invitation, and by paper through the mail.

An agency spokesman explained the bureau has “operational contingencies” in place to ensure that when staff and facilities are affected, work can still continue to ensure a complete 2020 census.

For instance, prior to the shutdown of all field operations, the agency modified its data collection protocols to eliminate personal visits. Where feasible, census field workers would call survey participants and seek to collect the necessary information over the phone, the bureau said at the time.

The agency has said despite the coronavirus outbreak it still expects to meet its December deadline for completing the nationwide count.

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