by Kamna Shastri
Despite coronavirus fears and efforts to contain the transmission of COVID-19, Census 2020 efforts are going on as planned. March 12 marked the official beginning of census season. The Census Bureau is now offering online and phone-based assistance as it continues to mail out invitations to participate in the census.
Mailed invitations to fill out the online census should arrive today and be followed up with a reminder to unresponsive households in two weeks. From April through July 31st, there will be efforts to follow-up through door-to-door canvassing until the Census closes on July 31st. People who live in areas that struggle with internet connection will be mailed census forms. So will households that do not complete the census online after four reminders.
COVID-19 and social distancing measures as well as the statewide ban on large gatherings are going to affect the way organizations go about outreach and education to communities. According to the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods, all community-based organizations will be shifting their outreach efforts to online and mobile platforms, including social media, mass mailers and other remote resources.
While Seattle Public Libraries are closed, and community centers are no longer offering in-person assistance to fill out the census, King County Libraries are still offering support as of now.
From March 13 until April 30, people can use a designated computer station at these King County Libraries to fill out the census online. KCLS does not require anyone to have a library card or identification to use the service.
The Census is safe to fill out and will not ask for residential or immigration status. Personal information will not be shared outside the Census Bureau. Fill out the Census in three ways:
1) By regular mail
2) Over the phone
Find more information online at www.2020census.gov
Language guides can be found here.