The census has always been important when it comes to the allocation of resources, funding, infrastructure, and more. But filling out the census this year may be more important than ever, because, you guessed it, Covid-19. “Results from the 2020 Census underway now will help federal, state, local and tribal officials plan funding for health care services for the next decade,” says America Counts staff. 

Fair Lawn Deputy Mayor of Community Affairs Gail Rottenstrich said, "Critical decisions regarding our access to healthcare funding and facilities are made based on our Census responses. In Bergen County we have access to the best healthcare anywhere. I know from personal experience how important these resources are, but if our community is not fully counted, we will lose valuable funding necessary to maintain a healthy community."

While Covid-19 has highlighted key issues of healthcare in the U.S., other health issues, such as a cancer diagnosis and nearby centers to get treatment, are equally as important.

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Last week, Congressman Josh Gottheimer spoke to area health care officials, including Deborah Visconi, President and CEO of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, about readiness for a second wave of Covid-19.

"As we head into the fall and prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19, it's critical that our health systems, hospitals, and long-term care facilities are prepared to fight this virus, that they’re properly staffed, and that everyone has the protective equipment they need," Visconi said. "The discussion here today is a great step in addressing the potential challenges we may face here in Bergen and throughout Northern New Jersey and figuring out what resources and support we'll need to serve the community." 

Health care is always important, but “many of [such] programs are the lifelines that communities are depending on today as they work to protect the health and well-being of their populations during the coronavirus pandemic,” says American Counts staff. As a result of the pandemic, many people have lost their jobs, and therefore their health insurance. “About half of Americans receive health coverage through their employer, and with record numbers filing for unemployment insurance, millions find themselves without health insurance in the midst of the largest pandemic in a century. Even those who maintain insurance coverage may find care unaffordable,” said Jaime S. King, J.D., Ph.D.

Filling out the 2020 census may help tackle these issues down the line. 

It can be difficult to think about the future when our day-to-day lives feel so uncertain, but it is imperative. The statistics gathered from the 2020 census will determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds will be spent annually over the next decade. These funds will go towards public services such as “schools, libraries, emergency response, roads and bridges and for hospitals and health insurance,” says America Counts staff.

With children returning to school, adults returning to work, and everyone figuring out how to live in this “new normal,” filling out the census may be the last thing on your mind. Luckily, it is easier than ever to fill it out. Just go online to 2020census.gov, over the phone by calling 844-330-2020, or by mail.