Volunteering for U.S. Census? Tips on staying healthy despite COVID-19 outbreak

Local Original

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s how the amount of federal dollars North Carolina gets, how many representatives we send to Congress and how we plan for everything from infrastructure to housing — the U.S. Census. Volunteers started Thursday encouraging people to fill out the form.

But, it also comes with the question of how to do that and stay safe from the coronavirus.

When Faith, Je-Nya, and Diamond decided to use their spring break as volunteers educating folks about the US Census. They had no idea that their time out of class would be extended due to the coronavirus.

“I chose to do this because I want to become a better citizen in my community,” Faith Worsley told CBS 17.

So far, the door knocking to encourage people to respond to the census continues. But, not without awareness.

“We take the census seriously but we also take the health and well being of our advocates very seriously,” said Stacey Carless with NC Counts Coalition.

The non-profit works in tandem with the U.S. Census. They are directing everyone to cancel any public information sessions and use digital platforms instead.

“Because of coronavirus we have sent out a notice to our partners encouraging them to utilize online platforms, social media, emails to continue to promote the census,” said Carless.

As they speak to folks at the neighborhood doorstep volunteers are also being told to do use caution and follow the same hygiene routine the rest of us are being told to use.

“We’re going be going back home so we’re also going to be around family members that are old have heart problems and I know that’s people who are really just more I guess susceptible to coronavirus,” said Je-Nya Taylor.

In the meantime, if you don’t feel comfortable answering the door that’s OK.

Census day is April 1, however, once households receive this invitation in the mail they can go ahead and complete the census online, over the phone or they can wait until April when they will actually receive the census form and return it in the mail. So that you can stay healthy and still be counted.”

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