NEW LEXINGTON — Census Partnership Specialist Aaron Dagres updated local partners and members of the work that has been done for the past 18 months with response data. In addition, census takers are expected to take to the streets soon for non-responders.

So far in Perry County, there has been a 61.4 percent response rate according to the census bureau. Thirty-seven percent of respondents answered the questions via an internet means. Out of 88 counties in Ohio, Perry County ranks as the 68th county regarding respondents.

The Village of Hemlock has since passed its original count in 2010 by five percent.

In an email sent to partners and members of Complete Count Committees in several counties in southeast Ohio, Dagres informed them that his time with the United States Census Bureau would be coming to a close on July 30.

With his soon departure, he reminded local community leaders their work getting complete counts does not stop as the self response timeline is also running towards an end. However, census workers will begin to follow up on those who did not complete the self response.

According to the census specialist, Ohio is projected to start in early August.

Dagres shared with partners what communities residents can expect to see once census takers start to cob areas that have not responded. Workers are expected to follow public health guidelines when they visit.

On July 15, Wednesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the state is at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic. During his evening address to Ohioans, the governor urged Ohioans to wear masks in public areas.

“Let’s start with masks. I am asking each one of you, wherever you live in Ohio — whatever the alert color of your county — to wear a mask when you go out in public,” Gov. DeWine said.

For the census takers, they are required to wear masks in areas where it is required. Additionally, Census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training focussing on social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before starting work in neighborhoods.

Census takers are reportedly hired from local communities, According to Dagres. While most of the census takers are english speakers, many of them are bilingual.

If no one is home by the time a census taker is making visits, they will leave a notice on the residence with some information regarding how to respond to the census online, by phone or by mail. Locals are encouraged to cooperate with census takers while also making sure that everyone who is living in their household as of April 1, is counted.

Census takers are easily identifiable as they will wear government ID badges with their photograph, a United States Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date on the badge.

If locals wish to confirm a census taker’s identity, they can do so by contacting the state’s regional census center in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 267-780-2600.

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