If readers find someone they don’t know at their door clad in a protective face mask and holding a clipboard, they shouldn’t fret too much, chances are it’s a Census taker who’s come to make sure you’re counted.

With all the coronavirus pandemic worries, compounded by all the civil unrest that’s gripped big cities across America, the 2020 Census has kind of been driven to the back of people’s minds.

But the initial period for filling out and mailing in a Census form or filling out the form online is now passed and that means Census enumerators are fanning out to try and count those who’ve neglected their duties.

According to a SLO County news release, “Census takers began follow-up work in SLO County on Aug. 11, going door to door to households that have not yet responded to the 2020 US Census. The US Census Bureau recently also announced plans to shorten their in-field operations from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30.”

Census takers will be wearing protective masks and the County is asking everyone to keep social distancing (6 feet apart) while they briefly take your information.

“Participation in 2020 Census interviews should present a low risk of transmission of COVID-19,” said the County. “Census takers are trained to mitigate risk of transmission by universally following CDC recommendations, such as wearing a face mask, maintaining social distance of six feet or more, practicing hand hygiene, not entering homes, and conducting interviews outside as much as possible or practical.”

Responding to the Census takers questions shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes and the more accurate the count, the better it will be for everyone in SLO County. A complete count will help ensure San Luis Obispo County receives its fair share of funding for schools, hospitals, transportation, health and human services programs, and transportation projects.

Residents who have questions about the Census, would like further information or need help responding to the Census can call the County’s Census Questionnaire phone line at: (805) 781-5011. Assistance in English and Spanish is available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents can also complete the Census questionnaire online at: my2020census.gov or call (844) 330-2020.