According to the latest state figures, residents in the three-county region still lag far behind in responses with the 2020 Census.
Lewis County now stands at 58th, Jefferson County at 57th and St. Lawrence is doing better at 45th out of the 62 counties in census response in the state.
Regional director Jeff Behler, who leads census operations for New York, seven other states and Puerto Rico, wants to remind folks in the north country to make sure that everyone gets counted.
“Upstate is falling behind a bit,” he said, adding rural areas of the state and communities with second or seasonal homes might be the reason for lagging numbers.
So far, St. Lawrence County is at 53.4 percent, compared to 62.3 percent for the final tally in 2010; Jefferson at 44.5 percent and 59.1 percent for the 2010 census; and 41.3 percent for Lewis County and 66.2 percent for 2010.
But it can be difficult to get the word out where mail is delivered to post office boxes and not physical addresses, or to get responses back from people who own seasonal homes. He stressed that people with seasonal homes should fill out the forms at their permanent homes and mark zero for their second homes.
The numbers could actually be in better shape once those residents get tabulated, he said. Census folks advise going to the website at https://2020census.gov/.
In March, the U.S. Census Bureau was all set to put into motion all of its efforts to count people when COVID-19 hit two days later. The conronavirus has diffinitely caused responses to be down, Mr. Behler said.
For those who haven’t filled out the forms, census takers will start knocking on doors of households from Aug. 3 to Aug. 11 to get people to be counted.
Mr. Behler stressed census workers will wear masks and adhere to social distancing.
The Census people also are getting the word out at three local events — setting up tables at the Sackets Harbor Harbor Heights and at the Farmers Market in Carthage and with a mobile operations at the Lewis County Office of the Aging.
Nassau County leads the state of New York with a response rate of 68.3 percent, while Hamilton County has the lowest at just 16.9 percent.