The U.S. Census Bureau reinstated some of its Texas field operations May 25 with others opening June 1 after postponing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bureau said it will continue to open area census offices and resume field operations throughout the nation as soon as it is safe to do so. On May 4, the bureau began to open offices across the county but did not start opening Texas offices until May 25.

“The health and safety of Census Bureau staff and the public is of the utmost importance,” the bureau stated in a May 4 release. “All returning staff will receive safety training to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment. For their safety and the safety of the public, the Census Bureau has ordered Personal Protective Equipment for all field staff, including those that work in a field office.”

On May 25, the bureau opened operations in a few area offices in counties surrounding Dallas County all the way south to Williamson County. On June 1, it began to open Dallas County offices as well as Austin and San Antonio-area offices and offices in Laredo.

As part of the phased restart of operations, the bureau will resume dropping off 2020 census invitation packets at front doors of households in areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their home, the release said.

Households that receive the 2020 census invitation packets are strongly encouraged to respond promptly to the census using the census ID included in the questionnaire packet. People can respond online, by phone, or by completing and returning the paper form by mail, the release said.

“Responding with the census ID or by completing and returning the paper questionnaire helps ensure the best count of their community,” it read.

Residents have until Oct. 31 to respond to the census. Census data helps inform federal funding, which trickles down to the local level and representation at the local level as data is used for redistricting.

For a complete list of open operations, click here.