(KXNET) — Hospitals in North Dakota can’t turn away a person simply for their vaccine status.

That was the crux of one bill passed in the state senate on Friday.

House Bill 1502 says a hospital may not deny health care to somebody if they’re not vaccinated against COVID-19.

State Senator Judy Lee says current law already requires hospitals and clinics to treat all Medicare and Medicaid patients.

She says in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, some patients were sent to other nearby hospitals to see a doctor.

“There were thousands of COVID patients who were treated by North Dakota hospitals before the vaccines were even available. And proper precautions were taken,” Sen. Lee said.

The bill passed in the Senate 27-17.