U.S. Census still on despite pandemic, multiple letters may be sent out

Published: Mar. 22, 2020 at 4:45 PM CDT
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Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it was suspending field operations for the 2020 Census, at least until April first, however, everyone can, and should, still fill out their census online.

Many people have received their census letter in the mail, and WBAY asked the Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection about people being on alert in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The census is still going on, and if nothing else, the coronavirus makes it clear that we need a good head count about who is where, so we can get resources for our people. So, we need to fill out that census, and the best way to prevent getting scammed, is to fill it out when you get it," says Lara Sutherlin of the Wisconsin Dept. of Trade and Consumer Protection.

96% of people will get their census invitation in the mail.

If you use a P.O. box, you won't get it in the mail - the census is mailed to the home's physical location.

Eventually, you'd get a census form dropped off at your home.

You don't need an invitation or code to response - you can go online and respond, the response is counted by address.

An official letter will ask you to respond by April 1st at

Some of you may have received two letters in the mail, and we asked officials why that is.

They say you'll get an initial invitation letter, and if you don't respond, you'll get a reminder letter.

Some of those might arrive close together - once you respond, the letters should stop.

Make sure to check both letters to see if they have the same census ID number on them, and if they don't, you should alert the census to that.

You can respond to the census online, by phone, or filling out the paper questionnaire.

Reminders will be sent until the census is complete, and questionnaires will be mailed out around the end of the first week of April.

If you don't want to respond online or by phone, you can wait until you receive the traditional questionnaire in the mail.

Remember, the census won't ever ask for your social security number, bank account, credit card number or donations, and it won't ask for citizenship status.


Remember, you're required by law to participate - the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect your answers.