US Census during COVID-19: Being a worker and getting an accurate count

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Signs advertising the 2020 U.S. Census cover a closed and boarded up business amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 23, 2020. Credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder.

 The U.S. Census Bureau will soon launch a big push to count people who didn’t respond to the first round of questions by mail or online. Workers will go door to door and into hard-to-count communities, like RV parks and homeless shelters. Workers will wear masks, but the risk of COVID-19 contagion remains. 

KCRW speaks with J., who does clerical work for the U.S. Census. He says there are attempts at social distancing inside his office, but it’s tough. He’s concerned about safety, but he says leaving the job and going into employment limbo isn’t a good idea.