The flu is hitting the tri-state hard. So hard that local hospitals are struggling to handle the number of patients seeking help. Dr. Peter Stevenson is the Medical Director of E.M.S. at Deaconess Hospitals main campus in downtown Evansville. "Right now we are holding patients in the emergency dept. Because we dont have enough rooms up stairs.. same at gateway. Weve actually been on diversion because of the volume." Diversion means the hospital cant hold anymore patients. Dr. Stevenson says they actually tell the ambulance crews to not bring them certain types of patients. He says that means some patients are taken to other hospitals like St. Marys. There are 335 rooms at Deaconesss main campus. Right now there are 357 patients and those extra patients all need beds. The situation puts the hospital in a predicament. So i asked the doctor how often something like this happens. "Never for us. To be on diversion is a very rare and unusual event." Why are there more sick people right now? Dr. Stevenson says its simple, the flu. And even if youve had a flu shot, you may not be safe. "The vaccine that has been made was anticipating a certain viral strain thats not what were seeing on all these flu shots and people are being compromised." The hospital is asking all patients that come in to wear a mask. Dr. Stevenson says about half of all patients have the flu and a mask like this helps prevent the spread of germs. "You just dont want to expose yourself or your children to people you know have the flue and also stay out of crowded areas. You dont want to go out to nursing homes where theirs a flu epidemic." Dr. Stevenson says the best thing you can do to prevent the flu and a trip to the emergency room is good old fashioned hand washing. St. Marys says it has also seen a high number of patients with flu or flu-like symptoms, but so far it is not over capacity. The Vanderburgh County Health Department will hold a flu shot clinic at its facility tomorrow. Cost for adults is 12-dollars. Those under 18 are free.