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Asst. Regional Census Manager sends out field workers to collect data

Assistant Regional Census Manager, Marilyn Stephens recently reminded all Georgians that the completion date for the 2020 Census is September 30. With the completion date nearing, Stephens said Census workers have now entered the field and will be knocking on the doors of people who have not responded.

Due to the pandemic, Stephens said workers are taking all precautions. The workers will be wearing a mask and standing six feet apart, while conducting the interview outside.

Stephens said if no one answers the door, Census workers will leave a card that tells residents how to fill out the form online or can fill it out over the phone from 7 a.m. – 2 a.m. daily.

Stephens realizes that responding to the 2020 Census probably fell on the backburner for some.

“People have multiple priorities, and I realize that other things came up, but this only takes less than 10 minutes to fill out,” she said.

One of the many reasons people have failed to fill out their information for the Census is the rise in cases of COVID-19.

However, filling out the Census form can help hospitals rebuild their equipment supply once the pandemic slows down.

“The Census is how healthcare companies and rural hospitals receive funding,” Stephens explained. “Every grant they apply for looks at census data.”

Many grants additionally look at the racial breakdown of a certain area and if everyone does not respond then the hospital might not receive a grant they could use to help everyone.

Stephens is aware the number one concern for individuals is data security. 

She realizes that is why many are hesitant to open the door or even fill out the card and mail it back, but she assures everyone that Census data is protected by Title 13 and Title 44 of the law.

These state that all data collected cannot be published in a way that would identify any specific individual of the home. The information gathered also cannot be subpoenaed by the courts, ICE or the president and is sealed away for 72 years.

Stephens urges everyone to fill out the information today. She wants people to know that race, culture and status as a citizen or non-citizen doesn’t matter; they only want to know who was living in that home on April 1, 2020, including babies.

To fill out the Census online, visit 2020census.gov.