Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Census efforts also challenged by COVID-19

Like so many other things, the regular collection of census information for the once-in-10-year national count has been made more difficult because of the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Some deadlines have changed, but because so much rides on the count – including federal reimbursements to cities – state and local officials are still working to make sure people get counted.

“It is extremely important that everyone knows how important it is to get counted in the 2020 Census,” said Patrick Laughlin, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Human Services, which is helping promote the federal census. “Completing the census will ensure that Illinoisans get both representation and federal funding for the critical things like roads, hospitals, schools and fire stations.

At the University of Illinois Springfield, classes are being taught remotely, but many students are no longer in the campus dorms, townhouses or apartments. UIS will include those students in the count they provide to the Census Bureau, UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp said. And students are being told that even if they are off campus on the official Census Day, April 1 – they should report their residence as where they live and sleep most of the time - at school.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on March 24, 2020.

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