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Census temporarily closes some field offices due to unrest

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The U.S. Census Bureau says it has temporarily closed offices in several cities as a precaution as cities grapple with unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

The U.S. Census Bureau would not say Monday which offices have been closed. A spokeswoman says in an email that the closures were done out of an abundance of caution.

The Census Bureau is in the middle of the 2020 census, which is attempting to count every resident in the U.S.

Census Bureau offices around the country were closed for a month and a half as field operations were suspended in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The offices only began reopening on a rolling basis in the past several weeks.

The 2020 census will help determine how many congressional seats each state gets and the distribution of $1.5 trillion in funding.

The Census Bureau on Monday reported reaching its predicted goal for households answering the 2020 census questionnaire on their own — 60.5%. The self-response rate will likely grow higher in the next two months before the next phase of the 2020 head count begins in August. That’s when hundreds of thousands of census-takers start knocking on the doors of homes whose residents haven’t yet answered the census questions.

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Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.