Census ‘still happening’ — residents urged to get responses in

It’s crunch time for the census, and D.C.-area residents are being reminded to take care of theirs if they haven’t already.

Despite the pandemic, “the 2020 Census is still happening,” said Rachel Ortiz, media coordinator at the U.S. Census Bureau for the Philadelphia region, which covers eight states, including Maryland and Virginia as well as the District of Columbia.

Responses must be in by Oct. 31, “but time is running out before census takers come to your door,” Ortiz said. Those census takers will be sent out in mid-August and will be equipped with masks.

Nationally, the Census Bureau has a response rate of 62.6%, with 92.6 million households responding so far, according to Ortiz.

D.C. trails the national average, with a 58.9% response rate as of Tuesday.

Maryland and Virginia are above the national average. Virginia has a 67.3% response rate, and Maryland has a 66.6% rate.

Residents can respond to the census by mail, at 2020census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020.

Even with millions more responses needed in the coming months, “We are completely confident in our ability to achieve a complete and accurate count,” Ortiz said.

The census count will help determine congressional representation and the allocation of federal funding.

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