Census workers going door to door

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Census takers are now out visiting households that have not yet completed the 2020 Census form.

The enumerators started in Dubois County at the end of July, said Tim Swarens, a U.S. Census Bureau media specialist for Indiana.

They are assisting those at the household in filling out the form, to make sure people who were living at the residence as of April 1 are counted.

The info gathering, including self-responding, will stop a month earlier than expected, said U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham.

“We will end field data collection by September 30, 2020,” he said in a statement. “Self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing. Under this plan, the Census Bureau intends to meet a similar level of household responses as collected in prior censuses, including outreach to hard-to-count communities.”

A Census taker will have a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date on the badge, Dillingham said. Residents should ask to see the taker’s badge for verification. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.

To confirm a Census taker’s identity, call the regional census center at 312-579-1500 and speak with a bureau representative.

All census takers will be trained on social-distancing protocols, Swarens confirmed. They will be issued PPE and will follow local guidelines for their use. They will follow local public health guidelines when they visit; if masks are required in the area, census takers will wear them. The workers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social-distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before beginning their work in neighborhoods.

All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual, the bureau stated. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.

If no one is home, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.

Dubois County is close to reaching 80% in its response rate. It stands at 79.3%, which is Dubois County’s total response rate for 2010. The county remains at No. 1 in the state and No. 22 among counties in the United States.

Local response rates of townships are:

Bainbridge: 80.3%

Boone: 85%

Cass: 78.6%

Columbia: 69.8%

Ferdinand: 83.2%

Hall: 84.4%

Harbison: 78.5%

Jackson: 85.2%

Jefferson: 75.4%

Madison: 87.5%

Marion: 73.1%

Patoka: 73.4%

The latest response rate percentages for Dubois County municipalities are:

Birdseye: 63.6%

Ferdinand: 79.9%

Jasper: 80.6%

Holland: 70.2%

Huntingburg: 70.9%

Indiana is tied for No. 11 among all states, with a 67.4% response rate. The national response rate is 63.2%.

National, state and local response rates can be found at https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html.

Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire, filling out the form online at 2020census.gov, or completing the 2020 Census by phone at 844-330-2020 for English or 844-468-2020 for Spanish.




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