Amid the COVID-19 virus shifting the way the world works over the last few months, the U.S. Census Bureau has also had to change their methods and planning for getting as complete a count as possible.
Even during this pandemic there is a positive sign in response rates, with Santa Clara County having 70% of household’s questionnaire responses completed. Census spokeswoman Angelica Vásquez helped answer some questions on how the bureau has adapted their data collecting during COVID-19, and information on Census Takers, from how to identify and verify employees for the Census Bureau, to applying to becoming one.
It is important to note, if you have already completed the 2020 Census, there will not be any Census Takers visiting your household. So, if you prefer you can still fill out the census through mail, phone or online.
At the beginning of the pandemic spread in the United States, you paused census operations. Now that you are starting back up, how can people recognize who the Census Takers are that come to their home?
So, the census takers will start knocking doors from August 11 to October 31st. They are going to have a badge with their identification and there’s going to be a [phone] number if the person in the household wants to verify if that person works for the U.S. Census Bureau.
The phone number where people can call to verify the identity of a Census Taker when knocking on their doors, if the household hasn’t responded to the 2020 Census yet, is 844-330-2020. For more information, you can go here: https://2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.
Now, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, how are Census Takers taking precautions for themselves and households they visit?
Census Takers will wear PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to safely visit and interview households that haven’t responded. Again, we are working with public health officials to know the last updates and guidelines to follow to protect our staff and the people.
Speaking on personnel, can people still apply to work as census takers?
Yes, people can still apply to work as census takers for the U.S. Census Bureau, and they can go to 2020census.gov/jobs and they can apply there and submit all the information that is required.
Would you recommend people becoming Census Takers?
Yeah, this is a great opportunity because this is for everyone who wants to earn extra money, especially right now when many people are not working. Recent graduates from high school can apply, veterans, stay at home parents; anyone who wants to earn or supplement their income.
The pay rate as a Census Taker and office positions are between $27 to $30 in the county of Santa Clara. If you want to know the pay rate by area, visit this link 2020census.gov/en/jobs/pay-and-locations.html, scroll down and go to “Find Pay Rates Near You” and select the area you are interested in.
The phone number to call to ask questions about jobs is 855-562-2020. For more details about 2020 Census jobs, people can visit https://2020census.gov/en/jobs/job-details.html.
After the 2020 Census is finalized or after the response period has ended, where can people find information and updates on data and results of the census?
Initially, the plan that was scheduled was to deliver the results to the president on December 31st of this year. With all these situations in the country, [that] was modified and [now] it’s going to be April 30th of 2021.
If [people] want to know more information, everything is going to be posted on the website once it is approved and delivered. So, people can go to look for information on 2020census.gov.
And any other things you would like to add?
Well, responding to the 2020 Census in this time of social distancing makes a difference for the well-being of our community. This will help shape our future.
I encourage people to respond as soon as they receive their paper questionnaire, in case they couldn’t do it already by phone or online. So, I encourage people to do that as soon as they can. Don’t wait until a Census Taker knocks on your door.
I just want to reiterate that the responses that we are going to receive will help to direct millions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for health care, emergency response, schools, education programs, roads, and other public services. And, the results from the 2020 Census will determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and the political representation at all levels of government.
And again, people need to complete the 2020 Census now so their communities will have the resources it needs over the next 10 years. An accurate census count helps communities get the resources they need for emergency and disaster responses, like we are [living] through right now. So, it’s definitely very important people fill out the form.