RALEIGH – Hundreds of workers are being laid off – some permanently – at East Carolina University.

Aramark at ECU said in a layoff notice filed with the state of North Carolina that a total of 440 workers are affected.

The layoffs took effect on Jan. 14. The notice was received by the state on Jan. 15 and published Tuesday.

COVID-19 disruption was cited by the company as the reason for the layoffs. It said workers could be rehired once the pandemic improves.

Of the layoffs, 433 are temporary, the company said.

Seven job cuts are permanent.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit universities, colleges and schools hard across North Carolina with on-campus learning having been sharply reduced.

ECU’s spring semester began Tuesday “with a mix of face-to-face, hybrid and online classes,” according to ECU news service.

“ARAMARK at ECU manages all of ECU’s campus dining needs,” the company says at its website. “We have 15 locations on campus and serve 25,000 meals a day. We also provide dynamic 5- star Catering for any on-campus event.”