(WEHT)- US Rep. James Comer (R-Ky) says Kentucky is potentially on the edge of losing a congressional seat if Kentuckians don’t fill out the census, which also determines state and federal funding.

“After the 1990 census, [Kentucky] lost a congressional seat, because of population,” Comer said, “we’re close to doing that again.”

Comer represents Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District, which covers much of southwestern Kentucky including Henderson, Madisonville, Murray, and Paducah. Comer adds that “a lot” of the rural counties in his district have seen “very poor response rates so far,” which Comer calls “dangerous.”

Comer mentioned that testing for COVID-19 remains an issue for parts of his district, explaining that a potential 10-day wait for test results is “way too long” in Kentucky. Even still, Comer adds that with more testing for businesses and employees, the US economy could reopen soon.

“I think our health care providers are prepared,” Comer said, “I think we have the [protective personal equipment], we need to focus right now on, first of all, continuing to ensure our front line health care workers have what they need to fight this virus, but secondly, we need to start taking steps to reopen the economy because the longer we stay shut down, the harder it’s going to be to have jobs for those displaced workers to go back to.”

For the latest breaking news and stories from across thetri-state, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.

(This story was originally published on April 15, 2020)