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Census 2020 Process Still Proceeding

As members are aware, the 2020 Census is counting every person living in the United States as of April 1, 2020. It is vitally important for everyone, including older adults, to complete the 2020 Census to ensure that local communities, states, and national programs are accurately and adequately funded and represented in the political process. Furthermore, census participation is required by law. The deadline for 2020 Census responses is Oct. 31, 2020. To date, 93 million households, nearly 63 percent of all households in the United States, have responded to the 2020 Census.

Administration of the census in ‘’group quarters” (which include nursing homes and other types of health care facilities) is being conducted across the United States between July 1st and Aug. 26, 2020, with a follow-up count taking place from Sept. 23rd through Oct. 21, 2020.

The way a person is counted in the census depends on where he/she is living or staying. People living or staying in their own homes in the community, a senior housing building/community, an assisted living facility, or the independent living and assisted living sections of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) are all considered residents of “housing” and are being counted individually. Residents living or staying in nursing homes and inpatient hospices are considered residents of “group quarters” and are counted together. It is also possible that some adult care facilities (ACFs) could be considered “group homes intended for adults,” which are a type of group quarters.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted an outreach process known as Group Quarters Advance Contact, which included mailing notification letters to each place on record from the last census as group quarters, calling these facilities to identify the group quarters administrator for the census process, and making personal visits to group quarters they were unable to contact by phone. During the Advance Contact, Census Bureau representatives verified identifying information about the group quarters, collected an expected Census Day population count, explained the “enumeration” options (how residents are reported), and obtained the facility’s preferred method. Enumeration methods include eResponse, paper response, in-person interview, drop-off/pick-up questionnaire, and self-enumeration.

Group quarters operators will be assisting with collecting and reporting information on all individuals who were living in the facility on April 1, 2020, which would include both short-stay patients and long-stay residents. The Census Bureau is requesting the following information for every resident or patient of the facility: name, sex, date of birth, age as of April 1, 2020, race, whether he/she is of Hispanic origin, and an alternate address where he/she lives or stays when not in the facility. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) permits a covered entity to disclose protected health information to the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect this information and may not publicly release any responses to any other government or private agency or individual in a way that could identify anyone.

Members should note that every census worker should have a badge to identify that they work for the Census Bureau. During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask an individual for his/her Social Security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, or bank or credit card account numbers. If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts a resident or staff person via email or phone and asks for one of these things, it is a scam, and the person should not cooperate. For more information, visit the Avoiding Fraud and Scams page on the 2020 Census website.

Contact: Dan Heim, dheim@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8866