GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is asking the state for permission to add more beds to cope with a surge in respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, patients.

The hospital said the surge, coupled with flu season and COVID-19, “could last for many weeks.”

It is seeking an emergency certificate of need from the state to add 48 beds to the children’s hospital and to designate 117 beds for intensive care. A decision from the state is expected soon.

The children’s hospital said one third of its patients have RSV. It is already putting two patients in some rooms in order to deal with the surge.

“The request was for additional ICU beds because we want to be as prepared as we can be for the future,” Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital President Dr. Hossain Marandi said Tuesday. “Because we don’t know what the future is going to bring. We don’t know what is going to happen with RSV or with flu as it comes or with any other virus that we might see as the seasons change. So we want to make sure that we are fully prepared and capable of taking care of those kids.”

Corewell Health — formerly Spectrum Health — aassured parents that the hospital is “ready to care for children,” nothing that while emergency room wait times may be long right now, it is capable of caring for all those in need. Marandi said many children from other hospitals around the state have been transferred to DeVos for its high level of care.

RSV is a cold-like virus that can be serious, particularly for young children and the elderly. It can infect the lungs, causing pneumonia, and inflame babies’ airways, restricting their breathing.