EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) The new variant of coronavirus is detected in the area nearly one year after the first Covid-19 case was reported in the Tri-State. Local doctors say it’s the same variant that originated in the United Kingdom that leading experts say is more contagious.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been recommending that people double up on masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus.

Evansville bartender, Trent Wilkinson said it’s difficult enough to get restaurant guests to wear one mask, alone.

“I don’t see it being an easy challenge that’s gonna be laid out and unfortunately it’s us that have to do it,” Wilkinson said.

Gerst Haus has a sign displayed on their front door because workers say they’ve been verbally abused by people who refuse to wear a mask.

“We had a customer come in and verbally assault our hostess who’s been with us for a while just simple bc be refused to wear a mask and I also got a google review on me cuz I kicked out 13 top again not wearing masks. We had the one kid here who wanted to fight to us because he was told three times to put it on.”

Deaconess Hospital President Dr. James Porter says that the confirmation of the UK variant in the community further heightens the importance of masking up, social distancing and getting as many people immunized as possible.

(This story was originally published on January 28, 2021)