CNMI Census: Over 10% surveyed prior to government shutdown

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CNMI Census 2020 has surveyed over 10% of the target size of the islands’ population before the government shutdown in response to Covid-19 concerns.

In an interview on Wednesday, CNMI Census 2020 office manager Claudio Norita said more than 300 field workers or enumerators as well as office-based workers had to stop their work on March 18 to comply with the governor’s Executive Order 2020-04, which shut down the government for two weeks.

Since the census began on March 1, Norita said the enumerators on Saipan, Tinian and Rota have already surveyed about 2,500 residents. He said they’re looking at around 20,000 people to be surveyed CNMI-wide to complete the federally funded Census 2020.

Norita said the public should report to the CNMI Census office anyone who is going around and asking for information.

“There’s no census going on right now because we’re included in the government shutdown,” he added.

Norita said the enumerators are part-time employees so they are paid only by the hours they actually worked. In contrast, full-time or office-based government employees are on administrative leave right now.

Norita said the CNMI Census will not resume until the governor lifts the government shutdown directive.

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