Census 2020 deadline pushed back as North Carolina deals with coronavirus

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The 2020 Census kicked off less than two weeks ago and major adjustments have been made as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

Census workers are not going door-to-door right now. Field operations have been suspended until April 1st. Meanwhile, the Census deadline has been extended from July 31st until the middle of August.

Census 2020: From what it is to why it's important, here's what you need to know

Wake County has spent months and a good deal of money promoting the survey. Leaders have been getting the word out, buying everything from pens and bags to bilingual signs.

Wake County planner Akul Nishawala said it's already challenging getting residents to participate and it's become even harder during the crisis.

"We plan for a lot of things that end up falling through, not to this scale obviously," he said. "This is an extreme situation."

The federal government uses the Census to dole out funding and resources.

"Planning for things like hospitals and schools and emergency services really mean a lot. In times like this, when we're in crisis, it really goes to show how important that data is and to be able to plan long term," said Nishawala.

Unfortunately, Nishawala said, North Carolina is one of bottom ten states in the country for Census response.

People are being strongly encouraged to fill out the survey online. You can also send it through the mail.

The filing could be different for college students. Many are home staying with parents or family.

"College students, who would normally be at school, should fill their census out as if they were still at school," advised NIshawala.
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