Great Britain

Census Day arrives with country almost paralyzed by coronavirus pandemic

CENSUS Day has arrived in the US, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the bureau are being forced to make adjustments.

Today the US Census Bureau wants the nation to document where they live for the once-a-decade count.

However, due to the country being paralyzed by the coronavirus, the bureau are have been forced to suspend field operations for a month.

The suspension will take place from mid-March until mid-April, when the hiring process would be ramping up for up to 500,000 temporary census takers.

In an interview on Tuesday, Jeff Behler, the bureau's New York regional director, said that the delays would involve two operations.

The operations are sending census takers to remote areas to conduct the actual census and those going to communities that only use post office boxes, where census takers would "leave the census packets at the doorstep."

The counts for the homeless and people living in 'group quarters', such as college dorms and nursing homes, has also been delayed.

Behler said that they are still "collecting information online" amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

The bureau will also be "mailing out the paper questionnaire to every address that has yet to respond" from April 8 until April 16.

The deadline for submitting the final head count has now been extended to end of July to mid-August.

The bureau is required by federal statute to send the president the counts that will be used to carve up congressional districts and draw the state legislative districts by December 31.

“We are laser-focused on the statute's Dec. 31 deadline for apportionment counts and population counts.

"We will continue to assess all of our operations to see if there are any changes that need to be made,” Michael Cook, chief of the Public Information Office at the U.S. Census Bureau, said on Tuesday.

The delays follow the news that Donald Trump has extended the country's social distancing guidelines until April 30th, due to the pandemic.

The president announced the news on Sunday, whilst speaking at a press briefing at The White House.

The US coronavirus death toll has exceeded 4,000, with at least 188,639 confirmed cases of the deadly virus.

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