Disclaimer: Due to the continual operational adjustments being released, the content on this page is subject to change. The page will be updated as information is received. This page was last updated on August 6, 2020. 

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.

Latest Updates

Guidance for Resuming Outreach and Operating Questionnaire Assistance Centers and Questionnaire Assistance Kiosks
July 20, 2020

Different areas of the state are closing and reopening at different rates, depending on local guidance and infection rates. Therefore, closing, reopening and resuming operations cannot be not a one-size fits all approach. We encourage and trust each of you to exercise due diligence and follow all applicable federal, state and local guidance around the health and safety of your employees, subcontractors, volunteers and the public. The Census Office prioritizes the health and safety of all community members and our partners. In general, our partners may continue to provide outreach and messaging virtually, in addition to the in-person activities you determine are appropriate and safe.

Please review the information below to inform your planning and Census operations.  As the situation remains fluid, we encourage you to check these links frequently for updates.

Source: Link:
California COVID 19 website https://covid19.ca.gov/
California  Department of Public Health https://www.cdph.ca.gov/



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html


Communities, Schools, Workplaces, and Events:



USCB 2020 Census Operational Adjustments due to COVID-19 https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/operational-adjustments-covid-19.html

Once your organization determines it is safe to resume field/in-person activities (based on local, state and federal guidance) please adhere to these protocols:

Health & Safety Categories


Face Coverings

Wear face coverings in accordance with the links listed below.  Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.




Cleaning and disinfecting your facility and equipment

For facilities and shared equipment including computers, tablets, cell phones, office phones, pens, etc., ensure a CDC approved disinfectant is used before and after each use.


Personal Hygiene

Wash your hands often.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.




Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.


Considerations for Events and Gatherings:



Face Cloth Covering Guidance
June 18, 2020
On June 18, 2020, the California Department of Public Health today released updated PDF guidance that requires Californians to wear a face covering in high-risk settings. The new guidance mandates the use of cloth face coverings by the general public statewide when outside the home, with limited exceptions.

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, and the archived press announcement.

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

To access all state resources and other key information, please visit: www.covid19.ca.gov.

Status of Current 2020 Census Operations Map

Updates on the operations resuming by location are available at 2020census.gov. The Census Bureau will update this webpage weekly as 2020 Census operations resume across the United States.

2020 Census NRFU Soft Launch vizaualization map

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

U.S. Census Bureau Operational Adjustments

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–September 30, 2020


Nonresponse Followup (NRFU)

Census takers will interview households in person. New dates will cover areas previously scheduled for “Early NRFU.”


May 13 – July 31


The Census Bureau began soft-launching NRFU on July 16, 2020, and it will soon be underway across the entire country. All area census offices will complete their work by September 30, 2020.


Group Quarters (E-Response & 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 which 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


January 21 – August 31


Island Areas

Census takers interview households in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This operation is coordinated with the local Island Areas governments. Census takers use paper questionnaires to interview households.


February 3 – June 30


February 3 – September 30


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


Phased re-opening occurred between May 4 and June 12.


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


Phased re-opening occurred between May 4 and June 12.


Update Leave – Puerto Rico

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

March 15 – April 17


May 22


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


In-Person Group Quarters Enumeration

Group Quarters that remain as 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


September 22 – September 24


Mobile Questionnaire Assistance

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

March 30 – July 31

Being modified to reflect the current environment.


Count of People experiencing homelessness outdoors

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

April 1


September 23 – September 24


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


September 3 – September 28


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.



The statutory deadline to provide apportionment counts is December 31, 2020.


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.



The statutory deadline to provide redistricting data is March 30, 2021.



Additional Guidance

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.

The Census Office prioritizes the health and safety of all community members and our partners. In general, our partners may continue to provide outreach and messaging virtually, in addition to the in-person activities you determine are appropriate and safe. 

Updating Outreach Activities

Due to the evolving nature of the emergency and the need to further combat the spread of COVID-19, on March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N33-20 (“Order”), which directed all Californians to “stay at home or their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors” (See https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-criticalinfrastructure-during-covid-19) or additional sectors that the Governor may designate. The Order, which is still in effect, permits Californians to leave their home to access necessities as food, prescriptions, and health care, or to “otherwise facilitate authorized necessary activities.”

Although the Order does not define authorized necessary activities, the following resources may be helpful for making determinations about your organization:

  • The “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” list prepared by the State Public Health Officer found at https://covid19.ca.gov/img/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf provides guidance as to what is considered essential critical infrastructure.
  • In addition, each California county has orders or other guidance in place regarding authorized activities. While many orders are similar, there are differences, and the guidance is subject to change. We recommend you consult with local orders to determine the scope of the stay-at-home order applicable to your work locations. A complete list of county resources can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/state-localresources/#top.

What Can You Do Now?

Complete your Census today! You have three ways to respond. 

Online: For the first time, the Census form will be available to complete online in 13 languages. Visit my2020census.gov to complete your Census today!

By Phone: The Census can be completed by phone in 13 languages including Telecommunication Device for the Deaf. Call 844-330-2020 today to complete your Census in English. To see the list of in-language phone numbers, click here.  

The U.S. Census Bureau is offering a callback option. If you choose the callback option, simply provide your preferred phone number and time of day for a return call. An official Census representative will call you back to collect your response to the 2020 Census.

By Mail: The paper Census form will be available in English and Spanish languages and can be mailed back to the U.S. Census Bureau. Census workers have started to physically drop off the Census questionnaire to some communities that don’t use a city-style addresses such as those with P.O. boxes. Complete and return your Census!

In-Language Toll Free Numbers

To find out more about the Census visit Californiacensus.org.








Chinese (Mandarin)


Chinese (Cantonese)
















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 August 6, 2020.