SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Golisano After Hours is expanding its hours beginning Monday, November 14, to handle the increasing number of children with respiratory issues and other illnesses.

Dr. Gregory Conners, Executive Director for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, says RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection) is sweeping through Central New York and Syracuse.

“So we didn’t have much RSV or virus activity within the last couple of years so we’re getting two or three years’ worth all at once,” says Dr. Conners. “So we’re getting kids in their first year of life, but we’re also getting one, two- three, and four-year old’s, even many of whom are pretty sick.”

He says Golisano Children’s Hospital is full, and about half the children there are sick with RSV, which is why they decided to expand their hours at the Community Campus.

Dr. Conners adds that they’re also teaming up with other hospitals to make sure children get the care they need.

“It takes a lot to care for a child,” Dr. Conners continues. “Additional bed space, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, that sort of thing as well as equipment, suction and other equipment.”

Sometimes they’re partnering with neighboring children’s hospitals in Rochester and Albany.

Golisano After Hours, located at Upstate Community Hospital on Broad Street will be open starting November 14, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4-10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12-8 p.m.

“Like many children’s hospitals across the country, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and its Emergency Department are seeing a significant increase in the number of children with respiratory and other illnesses,” said Upstate Pediatrics Chief Gregory Conners, MD, MPH, MBA. “These extra hours will help us to treat more children during this busy time.”

Dr. Conners says wearing a mask will help slow the spread, but handwashing also prevents transmission. “Really good prevention for a transmission of viruses around the household or in the hospital or anywhere. Actually, handwashing is even more important than mask-wearing.”

Staffed with emergency medicine and pediatric specialists from Upstate University Hospital and Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, the Golisano After Hours is open to people from birth to 21 years of age.

This center is used to give urgent care for minor injuries or illnesses when a child’s family care doctor or pediatrician is not available.

Golisano After Hours welcomes walk-ins as appointments are not required and most insurance plans are accepted. There is also free parking.

To speak with a registered nurse at Upstate Connect, call 800-464-8668.