A week after the start of its 2020 count, the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday to suspend field operations two weeks out of concern for the health and safety of workers and the American public the novel coronavirus.
Census Bureau officials say they continue to monitor all related operations of the once-a-decade head count in the global pandemic. Because on Wednesday, 11 million families have answered the census questions.
Most of the census staff does not enter the field until May, when they will knock on the door of the home, do not put their questionnaire. However, some of the workers already in the field, mainly the work count for College students, nursing homes, prisons and other institutions, as well as places without a fixed address.
Census historian Margo Anderson called the move unprecedented.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a suspension, in the national scope, say”Anderson, a Professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “We’re in unknown territory census, as well as everything from last week’s five.”
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever, cough. For some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can lead to more serious diseases, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover the virus.
This is the first once-a-decade census, encourage the majority of people answered the online survey, although respondents can also answer phone or email back the form. The Census Bureau is hoping a strong self-response rate will reduce the required census to knock on the door for a face-to-face interviews this summer.
“The public is strongly encouraged to respond to the 2020 census online using a desktop computer, portable computer, mobile phone, or tablet, you can also respond by phone or e-mail,”the Census Bureau said in a statement.
The 2020 census will help determine how many congressional seats each state gets, and the allocation of $ 1.5 billion dollars of Federal spending.
In a statement, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said the parliamentarians to monitor the suspension of field operations, and to encourage people to self-respond.
“By responding now, you will ensure that the Census Bureau does not need to send a census worker to your door,”Democratic U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York said.
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