LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The 2020 Census is being suspended to help slow the spread of coronavirus, less than a week after kicking off.

The Census Bureau announced Wednesday it would suspend field operations until April 1 to protect the health of the public, its employees and prospective census takers.

Census invitations had gone out less than a week ago, and the bureau said that more than 11 million households have already responded.  By late May, census takers were supposed to start visiting homes that had not yet responded, but that may be adjusted to follow the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities.

The census is taken every 10 years, and can determine the distribution of federal funds, grants and congressional representatives.