With just over two weeks left to go for the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau is intensifying its efforts as North Carolina's response rate continues to lag behind.

For now, people can still fill out the form online, but with just 83% of North Carolina households counted — roughly 10% behind the national average — new methods are being employed. For the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau is calling households by phone in hard-to-reach areas due to the pandemic. Spokesperson Virginia Hyer says there's an easy way to assess if the call is legitimate.

"We will never ask financial information," says Hyer. "We will never ask your full social security number. And we will never ask anything related to a political party. So, you can confirm that a census taker is calling you because they're only going to be asking you very basic demographic questions."

That can range from things like age, sex, and homeownership versus renting. Census takers will also be knocking on doors this month. Hyer says to look for canvassers wearing a facemask and I.D., carrying a Census Bureau bag, and a government-issued iPhone to collect data.

Census 2020 ends on September 30th.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

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