COVID-19 Updates

The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office is providing updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The State of California is acting quickly to protect public health and safety in response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a quickly evolving situation. The Census Office continues to get status updates of COVID-19 across the state with the focus being on mitigation. Each community is affected differently and Census outreach cannot be a one-size-fits-all response.

Overall Guidance

On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay at home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. We wanted to be sure to share the press release information that is available here and the archived press announcement can be viewed here.

The Census Office recommends that contracted partners follow all federal, state and local guidance.

En Español: Para obtener información en español, visite la página del Departamento de Salud Pública: Novedoso Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

A list of various guidance documents that are available here:

California Department of Public Health

  • All Facility Letters for health care facilities, including long-term care facilities
  • Alternate Care Site FAQs 4/6/2020
  • California Smokers’ Helpline
  • Cleaning & Waste Management for Residences 2/2020
  • Dentistry 4/07/2020
  • Essential/Emergency Personnel Providing Critical In-Home Service 3/27/2020
  • Face Covering Guidance 4/01/2020
    • Orientación Sobre el Uso de Mascarilla de Tela
  • Farmworker Safety 4/18/2020
  • Flow Chart: COVID-19 Recommended Protocol for People Experiencing Homelessness
  • Food, Beverage, Other Services 3/16/2020
    • Alimentos, Bebidas y Otros Sitios de Servicios Relacionados 
  • Food Industry and Food Supply Chain 3/11/2020
    • Cadena de Suministro de Alimentos
  • Gathering Guidance 3/16/2020
    • Orientación para Reuniones
  • Health care facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities 3/13/2020
  • Home cleaning with COVID-19 positive individuals 3/2/2020
  • Immigrant Communities 3/18/2020
    • Las Comunidades de Immigrantes
  • Individuals with Access and Functional Needs 3/9/2020
  • Infection Prevention for Funeral Establishments Handling Deceased Cases of COVID-19 (4/7/20)
  • Individuals for WIC Families
  • Information for Women and Families
  • Medical Waste Management – Interim Guidelines 3/16/2020
  • Medical Waste Management – Personal Protective Equipment 4/17/2020
  • Outpatient Healthcare Facility Infection Control Recommendations for Suspect COVID-19 Patients 2/28/2020
  • Pharmacy Personnel 4/16/2020
  • Recommended Strategic Approaches for COVID-19 Response for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness 3/2020
  • Schools and institutions of higher education
    • Guidance for schools
    • Directrices para las escuelas sobre el nuevo coronavirus o COVID-19
    • Guidance for colleges and universities
    • Directrices para las instituciones de educación superior sobre el nuevo coronavirus o COVID-19
  • Self-Isolation for Older Adults and Those Who Have Elevated Risk 3/16/2020
    • Aislamiento para Adultos Mayores y Personas que Tienen un Riesgo Elevado
  • Tips and Resources for Family Members and Caregivers of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs 4/8/2020
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment during COVID-19 Outbreak 3/19/2020
  • Veterinary Professionals and Premises 4/01/2020

To access all state resources and other key information, please visit:

The information below includes information from other departments and agencies with COVID-19 guidance.

Alcohol Beverage Control
Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency
Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention

  • COVID-19 Self Checker
  • Drinking Water, Recreational Water and Wastewater: What You Need to Know
    • Agua Potable, Aguas Destinadas a Usos Recreativos y Aguas Residuales: Lo Que Necesita Saber
  • Face Coverings FAQs

California Department of Aging 

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 

  • Public Health Guidance about COVID-19 for California State Prisons CDCR Memo

California Department of Education

  • COVID-19 Guidance for K-12 Schools: Distance Learning, School Meals, Child Care and Student Supervision (3/17/2020)

California Department of Pesticide Regulation

  • Guidance for Using Disinfectants at Schools and Child Cares
  • Recordatorios para el uso de desinfectantes en las escuelas y guarderías

California Department of Social Services

  • Community care facilities, including assisted living facilities and child care


  • Emotional Support and Well-being Hotlines 4/7/2020
  • Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers 
  • Stay-Home-Order FAQs
  • Stress Management Playbooks 4/7/2020

Department of Business Oversight

Department of Consumer Affairs

Department of Developmental Services – Regional Centers

Department of Fair Employment and Housing

Department of Healthcare Services 

Department of Insurance

Department of Managed Healthcare

Department of Real Estate

Emergency Medical Services Authority – First Responders, including paramedics and EMT’s

Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council 

Labor & Workforce Development Agency

U.S. Census Bureau Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19

To view the 2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19, click here


Original Schedule

New Schedule

Self-Response Phase

Online, phone, and mailed self-responses continue throughout the data collection process.

March 12–July 31


March 12–October 31


Group Quarters (e-Response and Paper Enumeration)

Many group quarters have already begun responding through our e-response enumeration option.


April 2–June 5


April 2–September 3


Remote Alaska

Early operation to reach parts of Alaska that may be difficult to reach later in the year and whose populations depart for other activities. The operation will be mostly completed on the original planned schedule, though some areas with year-round populations will be enumerated when it is safe to do so.

January 21–April 30


Tentatively January 21–June 19, but may need further review and coordination


Field Offices at Peak Operations

Managers and staff commence administrative, training, deployment, and support activities for peak data collection operations. This includes selecting and hiring field staff.

March 1


June 1


Update Leave—Stateside

Census takers drop off invitations to respond and paper questionnaires at the front doors of 5 million households stateside while updating the addresses.


March 15–April 17


June 13 –July 9


Update Leave—Puerto Rico

Update Leave Operation for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, approximately 1.7 million households, will be coordinated separately.

March 15–April 17


Needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders.


Update Enumerate

Census takers interview about 2,000 households in remote parts of northern Maine and southeast Alaska.

March 16–April 30


June 14–July 29


Nonresponse Followup (NRFU)

Census takers will interview households in person.

May 13–July 31


August 11–October 31


In-Person Group Quarters Enumeration

Group quarters that remain a part of our in-person group quarters enumeration efforts will begin in July.

April 2–June 5


July 1– September 3


Service Based Enumeration We’re working with service providers at soup kitchens, shelters, and regularly scheduled food vans to count the people they serve.

March 30–April 1

Needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders.


Mobile Questionnaire Assistance

Census Bureau staff assists people with responding online at places people gather (events, grocery stores, etc.).

March 30–July 31


Needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders.


Count of People Experiencing Homelessness Outdoors

Census takers count people under bridges, in parks, in all-night businesses, etc.

April 1

Needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders.


Enumeration of Transitory Locations

Census takers count people staying at campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, and hotels if they do not usually live elsewhere.

April 9–May 4


Tentatively September 3–September 28, but may need further review and coordination.


Process Apportionment Counts

After collection activities are complete, Census Bureau experts run and review output from programs to unduplicate responses, determine final housing unit status, populate any missing housing unit data on household size, and finalize the universe to be included in the apportionment count file.

July 31, 2020– December 31, 2020


October 31, 2020– April 30, 2021


Process Redistricting Data

Census Bureau experts run and review programs to populate any missing demographic data for each household, run differential privacy programs to ensure confidentiality, and run tabulation programs for each state delivery.

January 1, 2021– March 30, 2021


May 1, 2021– July 31, 2021


Deliver Apportionment Counts to the President

By law, the Census Bureau will deliver each state’s population total, which determines its number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

By December 31


Deliver by April 30, 2021


President Delivers Apportionment Counts to Congress

Within 7 days of start of legislative session or approximately 10–20 days after receipt.

Within 14 days of receipt.


Deliver Redistricting Counts to States

By law, the Census Bureau will deliver the local counts each state needs to complete legislative redistricting.

By April 1, 2021


Deliver by July 31, 2021



Guidance for Use of State Issued Funds

The Census Office is committed to be flexible when possible with existing contract requirements and encourage the use of contingency funds to adapt activities. As such, if there are expenses that would be incurred that position the partner to comply with local or state health department guidance, please work with your regional program manager to discuss and review proposed adjustments. Changes will be approved on a case by case basis.

Guidance on Modifying Outreach Activities

Just as with other infectious diseases, not all parts of our state are affected equally at the same time. State and county public health officials are continuously assessing the situation and will alert the community as the situation changes. In order to protect the health and safety of the public during this time and in the spirit of our campaign, the Census Office stands firm in its commitment to support partners as they maintain, modify or postpone activities as necessary.

Updating Outreach Activities

Upon approval of modified activities by your regional program manager, the Census Office requires contracted partners to update activities through the Statewide Outreach and Rapid Deployment (SwORD) tool. This includes changes in your planned activities that may be due to local public health guidance.

QAC/QAK Activities in Public Locator

As of March 20, 2020, the operation of all Questionnaire Assistance Centers or Kiosks (QAC/QAK) should be postponed until further notice.

What can you do now?

Update messaging to reiterate ways to compete the Census form:

Remember there are three easy and quick ways to fill out the Census –

  1. online:
  2. over the phone, find your number here
  3. by mail

To find out more about the Census visit








Chinese (Mandarin)


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Haitian Creole






English (Puerto Rico residents)


Spanish (Puerto Rico residents)


Telephone Display Device (TDD)



All lines provide live customer service representative support providing information about the 2020 Census and assistance with the questionnaire.

  • Callers to the English and Spanish language lines will be routed through the Interactive Voice Response system prior to being transferred to a customer service representative.
  • Callers to all other language lines will be greeted in that language by a customer service representative.

Page updated March 21, 2020.