Impact from virus forces Malheur County employers to jettision jobs

The Denny's at 76 East Goodfellow Street in Ontario is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

Malheur County employers eliminated 760 jobs from March to April as the economic impact of the coronavirus took hold.

About one-third of those were in the hospitality industry, which lost 230 jobs. Restaurants and bars were ordered in March to shut down except for takeout and delivery. Hotels also suffered as travel was discouraged by state and federal health authorities.

Some of those jobs may be returning as Malheur County on May 15 saw restaurants and bars open again to sit-down dining. However, they are expected to operate at about half capacity.

Other employment sectors that shed jobs in April included health services and education, which lost 180 jobs, or about one . . .