How the 2020 U.S. Census is Changing in Tehama County During COVID-19

How the 2020 U.S. Census is Changing in Tehama County During COVID-19 Main Photo

28 Jul 2020


The U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years in efforts to count the entire population of the United States. The Census asks American households questions such as sex, age, and race of each person in the household. These demographics help determine congressional representation and how much funding each state, county, and community receive of the $675 billion per year in federal funding. These funds are spent to improve Tehama County schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other essential programs.

The data gathered from the Census is also very helpful for businesses and developers in the community. Businesses can use Census data to decide the best place for them to locate. Business owners are able to more easily pinpoint the very best area for their business to be as successful as possible. Developers can use this data to help revitalize areas of the country.

Usually the Census date is collected via in-person house calls by Census workers. However, since the outbreak and spread of the Covid-19 virus, the U.S. Census Bureau has had to adapt practices. The Census Bureau has halted some in-person activities. In order to keep information coming in, they have increased their call center capacity with employees working from home to gather the Census data.

Starting this month, census takers will visit homes of those who have not yet completed Census data. Census takers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines 

The nation-wide collection process was originally scheduled from March 12, 2020 to July 31, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the deadline to October 31, 2020. The Census data is now rescheduled to be completed and delivered to the President of the United States by April 30, 2021.

Most invitations to respond to the 2020 Census were sent out between March 12-20, 2020. Each household is also given a Census ID that will need to be input when completing the online Census. For households who want to fill out the Census online visit my2020Census.gov to complete your Census information. Households can also mail in their responses or call 844-330-2020 to complete the Census via phone. An important aspect of the call-in service is its call back feature. Anyone who calls in will not have to wait on hold. 

Local efforts to raise awareness about the Census in order to obtain more important Census information are taking place as well. The Tehama Complete Count Team, led by Tara Loucks-Shepherd, the Tehama County Census Outreach Coordinator, as well as Kate Grissom, is educating residents on the importance of the U.S. Census. The Team is making appearances at the local Wednesday Night Farmer's Market and the Tehama County Library locations in Red Bluff, Corning, and Los Molinos. They are also educating through Summer SERRF on Wheels, Little Libraries throughout Tehama County, First 5 Tehama's Lunch and Libros and the Community Action Agency of Tehama County's Drive-Through Tailgate Food Giveaway. From personal phone and Zoom calls to social media videos and creative distribution of outreach materials, the Team is spreading news about the U.S. Census and making it easier for residents to contribute. 

The Tehama Complete Count Team will also be providing information on how to identify if an enumerator is legitimate as Census takers begin visiting homes again. In-person Census takers will have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo may also be carried by the Census takers.

The U.S. Census Bureau is doing its best to ensure that the Census continues while also protecting the health of its employees and fellow Americans. The Bureau is dedicated to gathering the most accurate information from each household to ensure that communities are receiving the funding they deserve. The Bureau urges people to continue to participate in the Census via online, phone, or mail-in responses. Check 2020Census.gov for updates on the Covid-19 crisis and updates on the 2020 Census.

We here at Tehama County Economic Development hope our residents are staying safe during this time. We encourage you to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census if you have not already done so. Please continue to check back for more information regarding the Covid-19 crisis and its affects on the 2020 U.S. Census. Keep an eye on our website at http://www.tehama4business.org for these updates.

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