Census Bureau changes certain deadlines due to the coronavirus

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Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the deadline to respond on your own to the census is now August 15. The extension is part of a number of delays in Census operations to protect staff and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though subject to change, the plan is still to send Census workers out to knock on doors of households that haven’t responded by May. Those at the Census Bureau, along with state and local governments, are urging people to take advantage of filling out their Census form online.

People can also call or mail in their responses.

A Census tracker shows how the response is going, with breakdowns by state, county and municipality.

“This is the site we use to decide if we need additional outreach efforts in a locality,” said Tom Harvey, director of the Ontario County Planning Department. “Some of the areas showing very low response rates just received the initial mailing late last week, so no, I am not concerned yet. Hopefully people stuck at home will find the time to respond in the next couple of weeks.”

The latest update, as of March 22, shows the response rate for Ontario County at 18.6 percent. The city of Geneva is at 22 percent; and the city of Canandaigua, 16.2 percent.

Nationwide, the rate stood at 21 percent of households that had responded. In New York state, the rate was 17.9 percent.

Due to the coronavirus, all local libraries and most public places offering free internet access for completing the Census are closed until at least April 13. Harvey reminded people they can complete the 2020 Census by phone — offered in 12 different languages at https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html. You can call 844-330-2020 (and 844-468-2020 for Spanish), from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

For anyone who did not receive a code mailed to them by the Census Bureau, they should still get online at https://2020census.gov/en.html. They will need to know their exact mailing address as well as the names, birth dates, and nationalities of the people living in their household in order to respond — and make sure to have that information available before they log on to start the process.

Ontario County is posting Census-related updates at http://www.co.ontario.ny.us/425/2020-Census.