CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — More than 540 jobs in Jefferson County are being eliminated as Hollywood Casino lays off employees due to the pandemic.

That is a 40 percent cut in the workforce at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Race Track, which employs 1,300. Penn National Gaming, the Pennsylvania-based parent company of Hollywood Casino, informed the Jefferson County Commission, as it is required to do for a reduction-in-force notification. Jefferson County’s development director hopes to lessen the damage to the region.

“We’re going to offer our services as a liaison to the casino and racetrack,” says Dennis Jarvis, II Jefferson County Development Authority to make sure those employees have every avenue for employment services, training, educational opportunities.”

And Jarvis says there is no doubt about it, these jobs are a casualty of the coronavirus. But Jefferson County, he says, can be resilient.

“Twenty percent of all the tourism tax dollars in the entire state come through Jefferson County,” Jarvis says. “We’ve got growing expanding employers. We’re marketing our industrial park, and some available properties. And the housing market is very robust.”

The job losses at Penn National Gaming are not unique to West Virginia. Across the county more than 3,000 jobs will be eliminated at their properties. The job cuts will begin August 15.