Census takers will soon be making house calls throughout Oregon to collect data from households that have not yet responded to mailed requests for information.
Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.
The pandemic has delayed house calls for the 2020 Census, and self-response has been lower than hoped. Oregon's self-response rate overall is 65%; Curry County's is only 49.3%. Response in the cities is as follows: Brookings, 53.7%; Gold Beach, 39.5% and Port Orford, 40.9%.
Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone for English at 844-330-2020, or for Spanish at 844-468-2020.
Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response.
The bureau reports the following helpful information:
• Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. 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 also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
• Census takers will follow local public health guidelines when they visit. Census takers will be wearing masks. Census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
• If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail. People are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted. '
• Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.