If you’re going to stay at home due to the coronavirus, you might as well fulfill another government requirement while you’re there.
“They have not extended the deadline,” said Cynthia Young of the Hopkins County Complete Count Committee.
Census Day is still next Wednesday, and residents are urged to mark themselves as present.
But COVID-19 crushed the committee’s plans for a wide range of events promoting the 2020 census. City halls and libraries no longer are open so people cannot use those computers to complete online forms.
Dawson Springs will not have a census parade Monday, but they lead the county in answering the census invitation early. Statistics posted Monday show a 30.6% “self-response” rate there. Mortons Gap is at the other end of the ladder, at 1.5%.
The self-response rate across Hopkins County is 24.9%. That tops the state rate of 23.7% and the national rate of 23.6%.
“We’re glad to see people are getting the mail and responding,” Young said. She noted there’s no way to compare the percentages with the last census, because city and county response rates were not tracked in 2010.
Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton planned to send a letter to all city residents in early March promoting the census. But city marketing director Sara Lutz said Wednesday that the letters are “currently on hold due to the State of Emergency.”
Letters from the U.S. Census Bureau began reaching homes two weeks ago, with a return address of Jeffersonville, Indiana. The envelope warns: “Your response is required by law.”
“Follow-ups will go out,” Young said, if you don’t respond. In fact, some residents received a second letter this week. At some point, enumerators will go door-to-door to obtain information.
“There’s a delay in the enumerators’ rollout,” Young added, because of coronavirus. But the goal still is to deliver a final census report to President Trump on Thursday, Dec. 31.
If you haven’t received a Census letter with a special identification code, Young said you can respond online at 2020Census.gov.