U.S. Census field operations are suspended through April 1 in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Census Bureau announced Wednesday that the 2020 Census count will continue through self-reporting done online and by mail, but field work and the process of hiring field workers to visit people who have not responded will temporarily stand down.
Visitation to households that have not responded to their Census questionnaires is set to begin in May, subject to further adjustments as needed.
“Should any additional adjustments need to be made, the Census Bureau will communicate these changes broadly and promptly,” the Bureau said in a press statement.
The Census, held every 10 years, is a key tool used in allocating federal money and other resources to states based on their populations. Undercounting can result in a commensurate loss in funding for services such hospitals, roads and emergency services.
The Census statement calls on residents to respond to their 2020 Census questionnaires online using a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, or respond by phone or mail. The Bureau also encouraged citizens to encourage others to respond.