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Don’t let the coronavirus stop you from filling out the census

The US Census Bureau will begin mailing notices to Rhode Island households today to remind everyone to participate in the once-a-decade headcount of the state’s population. Shown here is a reminder card for DeKalb, Illinois.John Amis/FR69715 AP via AP

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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I'm Dan McGowan and I think it’s nice that Sarah Palin was the “Masked Singer,” but call me when she joins Gronk in WWE. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

From President Trump’s restrictions on European travel to the NBA canceling its regular season, a lot has happened in the past 24 hours as the coronavirus continues to disrupt life as we know it across the world.


While we encourage you to continue to follow us for all of the latest news on the disease, it’s important to keep in mind that there are other things happening as well. Case in point: the census.

The US Census Bureau will begin mailing notices to Rhode Island households today to remind everyone to participate in the once-a-decade headcount of the state’s population. It’s mandatory to fill out, but the state’s large immigrant population has some officials fearing that not everyone will be counted.

The implications are real.

Rhode Island is dangerously close losing one of its two US House seats in 2022 because its population continues to hover right around 1 million residents while several states in the South and West have grown rapidly.

But even if you don’t care about US Representatives James Langevin and David Cicilline potentially having to square off in a Democratic primary for one statewide congressional seat in two years, the Rhode Island Foundation has warned that the state’s $3.8 billion in federal funding could be slashed as a result of an undercount in the census.


State leaders have been racing to ramp up the effort to remind people to fill out the census, and the Rhode Island Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to help nonprofits reach hard-to-count populations in the state.

The good news is that it’s easier than ever to fill out your census. Once you get the notice in the mail, you can fill out the paper version, or do everything online here.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

  • The latest on the coronavirus: If you’re over the age of 60, Governor Gina Raimondo is urging you to avoid large events for at least the next two weeks to avoid contracting the deadly disease. She’s also encouraging all residents to skip public gatherings of more than 250 people as part of an effort to contain the outbreak.
  • Because the European trip organized by Saint Raphael Academy resulted in one of the first coronavirus cases in the country, the CDC believes it has a lot to learn from the students at the private school. That’s why a case study is being organized.
  • News you can use: Here are seven steps we can take right now to slow the disease.
  • As it becomes increasingly unlikely that US Senator Bernie Sanders will catch Joe Biden in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, my colleague Liz Goodwin reports the senator is now trying to push the frontrunner to the left.
  • The Globe’s Matthew Gilbert offers 17 shows you can binge-watch while hiding out from the coronavirus.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

  • Providence College plays Butler in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament at 2:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. The conference is deeply limiting the number of people who will be allowed in the building.
  • Harrison Peters, the new superintendent of Providence schools, will speak at the Reservoir Triangle Neighborhood Association meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Alvarez High School.
  • Mayor Jorge Elorza has called a press conference at 11 a.m. to announce his new vision for public spaces in the Greater Kennedy Plaza area downtown.
  • While the House Finance Committee took up the proposed billion-dollar lottery contract extension for IGT on Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee gets its chance to ask questions about the deal today.
  • Enjoying Rhode Map? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment — check them out.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.