U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce request timeline extension for 2020 Census due to coronavirus pandemic

Census bureau already revised schedule last month due to coronavirus outbreak

This Sunday, April 5, 2020, photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. If you're a census slacker and havent yet filled out the form for the 2020 head count, the federal government is trying another way to get in touch with you. Starting Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau is mailing out millions of paper forms to homes whose residents havent yet answered the once-a-decade questionnaire. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic escalates throughout the country, the schedule for the 2020 Census has been significantly impacted.

In light of this impact, U.S. Census Bureau Director Director Steven Dillingham and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross are requesting “statutory relief from Congress of 120 additional calendar days to deliver final apportionment counts,” officials said.

This news comes after the bureau adjusted the census operations schedule last month due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

With an additional 120 days, the bureau would extend 2020 Census data collection and self-response to October 31, rather than its already-extended date of August 14, officials said. With this extension, the bureau would deliver apportionment counts to the President by April 20, 2021 instead of its original date of December 31, 2020. Redistricting data would then be delivered to the states by July 31, 2021 instead of its scheduled April 1, 2021, officials said.

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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.