COVID-19 possible hurdle in full Census count

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Congressman Paul Tonko is pushing for New Yorkers to get more back from the federal government than it puts in by getting everyone counted in this year’s Census.

Highways, healthcare and higher education are dependent on Census counting.

Concerns of the COVID-19 could divert a full count. Tonko said that’s something that will be addressed.

“There are ways that will be able to orchestrate a full count and still address public health, public safety,” Tonko said.

While Tonko said Census count could dictate what’s allocated to the area if the virus hits, Rensselaer County Supervisor Steve McLaughlin said the county’s prepared to get a full count.

“I hope that it doesn’t affect the count, but it’s something certainly that we have to think about,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a virus and it’s certainly something that you want to pay attention to, but you don’t want to over hype this,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin was recently down in Washington, D.C. and met with Centers for Disease and Control officials. He said they’re saying the same thing the county health department’s been saying.

“Take precautions, wash your hands. There’s no need to be wearing masks,” McLaughlin said.

Both lawmakers said funding from the Census is crucial for cities and counties. They added that if the Coronavirus hits the Capital Region, the health department is prepared to keep the public safe.

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