2020 Census Schedule and Outreach Update

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The U.S. Census Bureau has had to make extensive modifications to its 2020 Census collection schedule and outreach programs due to COVID-19 safety concerns. Recently, the Census Bureau has published a revised schedule with additional outreach information on their website. Below is an overview of these modifications.
Media Campaign and Outreach
The Census Bureau launched a multi-tiered media campaign in June to maximize census responses. To align with the new projected October 31, 2020 census collection deadline, paid media campaigns have been extended through the end of October.
The Census Bureau has also invested in an additional 50 million mailers which includes both household and post office box outreach strategies. Due to the urgent need to reach more respondents, for the first time the Census Bureau is sending census reminder cards to 1.3 million P.O. Box holders. Unlike other census communications, these mailers will not have addresses listed because the Census Bureau does not have the methodology to associate a P.O. Box to a household address. A final mailer will be sent to all households that have not submitted a census in mid-July, prior to census staff beginning the door-to-door phase. Examples of these mailers are provided below.
Operations Updates
Due to COVID-19, the Census Bureau had to cease in-person operations in March and April and started re-opening offices to begin field operations in May. This has caused delays in counting certain populations and in door-to-door collections. As field offices have begun to re-open, new schedules have been announced.
Homeless: A timeline to count the homeless was announced in June. Originally scheduled to be counted March 30-April 1, the homeless will now be counted from September 22-24. In addition to outdoor homeless counts, the Census Bureau will work with service providers at soup kitchens, shelters, and regularly scheduled food vans to count the people they serve.
Transitory Populations: People who live in campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, and hotels will be counted from September 3-28.
Rural: As of mid-June, 100% of Georgia’s Update Leave households had census packets delivered. Update Leave is a special operation to deliver 2020 Census invitation packets to households in areas where the majority of households may not receive mail at their home’s physical location, such as small towns where mail is only delivered to post office boxes or areas recently affected by natural disasters. These packets were delayed (they were originally planned to be delivered between March 15-April 17) and have contributed to low response rates in South Georgia.
Group Quarters: Group quarters include nursing homes, military bases, prisons, college campuses, etc. Originally planned to be collected between April 2-June 5, the revised schedule will begin on July 1 and run through September 3.
Off-Campus College Students: In mid-June, the Census Bureau started reaching out to colleges to assist in the counting of off-campus college students to ensure they are counted in the correct place. The guidance provided by the Census Bureau requires that students living off campus be counted where they should have been living on April 1, 2020 despite having to leave campus or switch to digital learning due to COVID-19.
Nonresponse Follow Up: Originally, enumerators were scheduled to follow up with people who had not completed the census from May 13-July 31. The revised schedule will allow for in person follow up from August 11-October 31.

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