The U.S. Census Bureau is starting to reopen some of its field offices in California in order to reach homes without regular mailing addresses, census officials reported.
Last week, 13 of the state’s 30 Area Census Offices began to incrementally restart operations after being closed since March 18 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Reopening does not mean operations immediately begin everywhere, it means the offices are open to staff and on-boarding and training of census takers can begin,” Census Bureau spokesman Josh Green said in an email.
The offices were opened about a week earlier than the planned reopening of all Area Census Offices because they are responsible for households identified as not having regular mailing addresses by the bureau’s “Update Leave” operation.
Census officials will physically drop off questionnaire packets at these homes in the coming weeks.
Five Bay Area offices reopened last week in Santa Rosa, San Mateo, Sunnyvale, San Jose and Concord.
The Santa Rosa office covers all northern coastal counties up to the Oregon border, Green said.
All Area Census Offices nationwide, including those in Oakland and San Francisco, were scheduled to reopen on June 1.
Many of the bureau’s schedules have been adjusted due to the pandemic and the widespread shelter-in-place and social distancing directives that state and local governments have implanted in its wake.
For example, the self-response period — during which people are encouraged to fill out the paper census questionnaire or complete the form online or over the phone — was originally scheduled to end on July 31 but has been extended to Oct. 31.
Also, the in-person follow up for households that do not complete the form during the self-response period was to run from May 13 to July 31 but has now been rescheduled for Aug. 11 to Oct. 31.