By Chief Johnny Wood
The U.S. Census Bureau informed Alabama Counts on Tuesday that the 2020 Census field offices in Alabama will reopen effective Wednesday, May 6, while continuing to follow all current health and safety guidelines.
The resumption of activities will come as part of a phased restart by the Census Bureau in select areas of the country. Because health and safety are of the utmost importance, the Census Bureau says that all returning staff will receive safety training to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment.
The bureau has ordered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all field staff, including those that work in field offices. These materials will be provided to staff prior to restarting operations, according to the Census Bureau.
As part of the phased restart of operations, the Census Bureau will resume the drop-off of 2020 Census invitation packets at front doors of households in areas where mail is received through P.O. Boxes. The Census Bureau began delivering census materials to these households on March 15; however, this operation was suspended March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, many of these households have yet to receive an invitation.
This process requires no face-to-face interaction, as Census workers will simply leave a packet of bagged information on doorsteps. Approximately 82,000 Alabama households are included in this process.
To date, almost 55 percent of Alabama households have self-responded to the 2020 Census and may continue to do so at www.my2020census.gov, by calling toll-free at 1-844-330-2020 or by returning their paper form.
The Census Bureau’s Alabama field offices are located in Mobile, Birmingham and Huntsville and cover operations for the entire state.
More information is available here: https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/press-releases/resume-field-operations.html
About Alabama Counts!
The Alabama Counts! 2020 Census Committee is an advisory group composed of public and private statewide organizations committed to working together to ensure each Alabamian is counted in the 2020 Census. Alabama Counts! builds trust in communities and promotes the 2020 Census. Through these efforts, we are striving for maximum participation in every community across the state.