Census count still going on despite COVID-19

Local News

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) — April 1 is Census Day and it’s the day you use as a reference when filling out a census form for reporting who lives at your address.

Despite the changes to everyday life brought on by the response to COVID-19, the constitutionally-mandated count is still underway.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh today issued a proclamation urging everyone to respond, because not only will representation in Congress be determined by the count, the allocation of federal funds for a variety of programs from infrastructure to social services depends on the census.

A number of outreach initiatives to get people in areas that could be under-counted have been put on hold due to COVID-19.

McMahon and Walsh are asking residents to use this time when many businesses are closed and people are home to complete the census that came in the mail.

You can complete it online, by phone, or by mail.

Since the mailers went out in early March, New York reports about a 31 percent response rate.

The national response rate so far is more than 36 percent.

More than 40 percent of residences in Onondaga County have responded, but numbers in the city of Syracuse show a response rate of about 30 percent.

You can see how your town, county or city has responded to the census so far in the interactive map below from the 202 Census website:

The Census Bureau says because of COVID -19 the in-person census takers who conduct interviews with people who do not respond online or by phone or mail are on hold, so it is urgent people reply.

Remember, the Census Bureau will not contact you by email, or ask for your Social Security number, bank account or demand money.

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