It ranks fourth in Maryland.
Frederick, Md (KM)> When it comes to the 2020 Census, Frederick County has reached a self-response rate of 75.5%. That’s according to Eileen Mitchell, the County’s Census Coordinator. “It surpassed the 2010 Census self-response rate which was 75%,” she said. “So we still have some time to go for people to complete the Census so we could go higher than that. But this is just great news. We rank fourth among all Maryland Counties.”
As part of getting people to fill out the Census and be counted, Complete Count Committees were formed across the state. Mitchell gives the members of the local committee a lot of credit for the high self-response rate. “But we do have certain people who would hesitate and so we’re trying to reach those people,” she said. . “This group, this committee, has been outstanding in what they’ve been trying to do and how they’ve been communicating the importance of the Census to our community.”
The Census form citizen are to fill out, either on paper, on line or over the phone, is supposed to reflect their status as of April 1st. The collection of the data was scheduled to end in June. But Mitchell says the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the process, and the deadline was extended. She said it also impacted efforts to get the word out about the ten-year count. “We went to the Fair. We had a booth at the Fair. We would go to events that had a lot of people who would attend and we could talk to them about the Census and its importance. But once everybody started self-isolating, we just lost that,” she said.
But the Complete Count Committee is not deterred. “So we’re trying to work as best we can around COVID-19 and still get that message out and still get people to complete the Census,” Mitchell said.
There are also efforts to try to reach some of those who are often under counted, such as seniors, children under five, immigrants, non-English speaking residents and low income families. “The Census Bureau has enumerators out there, People are knocking on doors. And they’re also going around to people who have not completed the Census,” said Mitchell.
She said the Committee has been working with the Golden Mile Alliance, the Asian-American Center for Frederick, the Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland and Centro Hispano de Frederick to get the word out. .
The deadline to finish the count is September 30th.
Mitchell says it’s important to get an accurate count because it ensures Frederick County receives federal funding for a number of programs. “Health care, non-profits, schools, meals, just a wide gamut of things that affect the people who live in the county,” she said.
It’s also important for vaccine distribution. “When there is a COVID-19 vaccine, they will know how many people live in Frederick County. They will know how many people need vaccine. A lot of people have that on their minds right now,” she says.
To participate in the Census, go to my2020census.gov, or call 844-330-2020 (in English), or call 844-468-2020 (in Spanish).
By Kevin McManus