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Census officials preparing for potential coronavirus threat to count

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The head of Michigan’s Census office is collaborating with other state and federal officials on ways to keep people's concerns about the coronavirus from affecting the Census count. 

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 11 with a victim succumbing in California, the first reported fatality outside the state of Washington.

So far, there have been no documented cases of the disease caused by the coronavirus in Michigan. But concerns about the virus may make Michiganders less willing to open their doors to strangers, including Census-takers.

Kerry Ebersole-Singh is the executive director of the Michigan 2020 Census office. She says Census postcards should start arriving in the mail next week.  

“You complete that form by April 30th. You can do the online form in the comfort of your home,” says Ebersole-Singh. “If you have a form that comes in the mail, you can fill that out or you can call the number and no one’s going to come to your house.”

Census workers are scheduled to start knocking on doors in May.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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