Modifying 2020 Census Outreach in Response to COVID-19
The Liberty County Census Complete Count Committee is carefully monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and following guidance of the U.S. Census Bureau based on recommendations from federal, state and local health authorities. We are adjusting outreach operations as outlined below to protect the health and safety of our volunteers and the public while fulfilling our mission to get Liberty County residents counted in the 2020 Census.
The 2020 Census began on March 12 with the ability to complete the Census online for the first time in U.S. history. It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker. We ask residents to take advantage of the opportunity to complete the online form in 12 languages at my2020census.gov.
Currently, the planned completion date for data collection for the 2020 Census is July 31, 2020, but that date can and will be adjusted by the U.S. Census Bureau if necessary. We will continue to monitor the situation, take appropriate steps in consultation with public health and emergency management authorities, and provide ongoing updates at www.census.libertycountyga.com.
Here are additional adjustments and updates to be aware of to make sure everyone is counted in the right place at the right time.
1. We planned to offer assistance with responding to the 2020 Census at events and locations where people naturally gather as part of the U.S. Census Mobile Questionnaire Assistance program and Liberty County Complete Count activities. We now plan to offer this assistance beginning April 13, which is a delay from the previously planned start of March 19.
2. We are working with service providers at emergency and transitional shelters, soup kitchens, healthcare centers and other places offering free services to adapt plans to count the populations they serve. The plan was to interview each person served or staying at the facility between March 30 and April 1.The U.S. Census Bureau is now contacting local service providers to determine whether they will be open between March 30 and April 1 and whether they would be able to provide a paper listing of census response data for each person served or staying at the facility instead.
3. Military families are now counted in the place they live, not their home of record. Deployed soldiers and soldiers living in barracks were counted as part of the Group Quarters operation. All military households are responsible for submitting their own 2020 Census form online, by phone, or by mail. Please continue to fill out your Census as part of the Liberty County population if you reside in Liberty County.
4. College students living in on-campus housing are counted through their university as part of the U.S. Census Bureau Group Quarters operation. Students in colleges and universities temporarily closed due to COVID-19 will still be counted as part of this process.
Even if they are home on Census Day, April 1, they should be counted according to the residence criteria that states they should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. Per the Census Bureau’s residence criteria, students living away from home at school should be counted at school in most cases, even if they are temporarily elsewhere due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
5. The Group Quarters operation also includes places like nursing homes, group homes, halfway houses and prisons. The U.S. Census Bureau offers a myriad of ways to respond, such as via eResponse, paper listing or self-enumeration by the facility. We’re encouraging administrators of group housing to choose a way to count their residents that requires less in-person contact. Someone from the U.S. Census Bureau will be in contact to assist with instructions on the response.
6. The Census Bureau and Liberty County Complete Count Committee is also making changes to its paid media campaign, earned media efforts and partnership outreach efforts to adapt to changing conditions while continuing to promote self-response. The key message right now for anyone with questions about how COVID-19 will affect the 2020 Census: It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone, or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker. Make sure you get counted so that our community has the funding, political representation and data necessary to plan for your future needs such as crises like COVID-19.