Conducting a Census During a Pandemic

Completing Census forms early will help minimize the need for door-to-door contact

Friday, April 24, 2020

​As of Wednesday, April 22, only 58.6% of Virginia Beach residents had submitted their Census forms.

Conducting a population count every 10 years is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and by law, all households are required to participate. This year, the 2020 Census count kicked off in mid-March, right as the Coronavirus pandemic was ramping up. This has required some adjustments to the plans to make sure everyone is counted.

To complete the census, the U.S. Census Bureau sends representatives throughout the community to visit the homes of people who have not yet submitted their Census forms.

"That effort is tentatively expected to occur starting in June," explained Ron Berkebile, Virginia Beach's Complete Count Committee Lead. "Census Bureau employees will take precautions to protect themselves and residents, however we want to limit in-person contact as much as possible in light of the pandemic. Submitting your Census form now will mean one less door-to-door follow-up that's required."

The Census is important for our community for a number of reasons, including helping people in need. The City has seen an unprecedented rise in unemployment claims and registrations for food and housing assistance. Federal funding for many safety net programs is directly tied to Census population data. In fact, for every person who is not counted, Virginia Beach loses $2,000 per person each year for 10 years straight. That's money that will make a real difference in helping people in our community who have been devastated by this pandemic.

Completing your form online is a quick and simple thing you can do to help.

You can submit your Census by mailing in the form sent to your address, visiting My2020Census.gov or calling 844-330-2020. If you'd feel more comfortable completing the survey in a language other than English, have questions or would like more information, visit 2020Census.gov.

To those who have already completed their Census form, thank you. Please help spread the word among your family, friends and neighbors.

For more information on how to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit emergency.vbgov.com/coronavirus.

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