The 2020 Census is underway and, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted standard census operations and extended deadlines to continue the count. 

As of Tuesday, the 2020 Census website reported that Colusa County has a total self-response rate of 40 percent. 

The state of California was reported to have a 57.8 percent self-response rate while the national self-response rate was reported as 56.6 percent. 

“The 2020 Census is an opportunity for every Californian to shape our future,” said Donna Dennis, program manager II for the Colusa County Department of Health and Human Services. 

According to Dennis, the 2020 Census will decide how billions of federal dollars are distributed in California. 

“An undercount could impact funding for our schools, health services, child care, emergency services and many other programs,” said Dennis

In addition, the census will be used to decide the number of California’s Congressional members and Electoral College votes, said Dennis. 

“A complete count means more people in power who truly represent and advocate for our communities,” said Dennis. 

According to Dennis, approximately 7000 mailers went out throughout the County with information regarding the Census.

The self-response period, which includes online, phone and mailed responses, has been extended from July 31 to Oct. 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The non-response follow up period is now scheduled to begin Aug. 11 and will continue through Oct. 31.

Under the adjusted 2020 Census operational plan, field activities are anticipated to resume after June 1, as area census offices begin returning to full staff capacities that were reduced due to the stay-at-home order.

According to Dennis, Question Assistance Centers have been set up at all county library sites, the First 5 Colusa Family Action Centers, the Colusa County Child Abuse Prevention Council and the county’s Health and Human Services and Behavioral Health Departments. 

“These sites will remain in place throughout the self-response period and are ready to go once these agencies are able to re-open their doors,” said Dennis. 

For more information on the 2020 census, visit https://www.census.gov.

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