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Census workers headed out here Monday

Monday, Census takers will begin knocking on the doors of Covington County residents who have not mailed in their 2010 Census forms.

Nationwide, the push is set to begin today with an estimated 635,000 temporary census takers fanning across America to begin conducting personal interviews of roughly 48 million households.

How-ever as of Friday, Dr. Darryl Lee, Census partnership coordinator for Alabama and Northern Florida, said local census officials were still preparing work assignments.

“We’re not disclosing the number of workers that are going to be in your area because we’re in the process of doing work assignments,” he said. “But I can say that these employees will be working out of the local census office, which is in Phenix City, so they will be working all of those counties.”

Census records show there are 11 southeast Alabama counties covered by that office – including Covington.

“I can also say because of the size of the area, there’s going to be a good number (of Census takers) out in the field,” he said.

Lee reminded residents that census takers are easily identifiable by their census badges and official Census canvas bag.

“Remember, too, that a census worker will never ask to enter your home,” he said.

Lee said if no one is at home at the time of the visit, a door hanger with a contact number on it will be left, and residents can use that number to call and set up an appointment.

“A Census taker will visit the home three times and attempt to reach someone by phone three times,” he said.

“We do need residents to cooperate,” he said. “Open the door and answer the questions. We say, ’10 questions, 10 minutes.’ That’s all.”

According the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census, county participation has leveled off, with most municipalities seeing only a one percent increase from last week’s numbers.

Currently, 63 percent of Covington County has mailed in their Census forms. That’s a 2 percent increase from the final 2000 Census count.

Now, municipal participations rates range from 49 percent in Florala to 77 percent in Opp and 72 percent in Andalusia.

It is estimated 635,000 temporary census takers will fan across America to begin conducting personal interviews with roughly 48 million households that did not send back a completed census form in mail census areas or who did not receive a form at their home.