Panes of plexiglass between the two candidates will ensure the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) never strays far from viewers’ minds on Wednesday night, as Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris face off in their first — and only — debate.
The viral pandemic was already sure to feature prominently in Wednesday’s Salt Lake City event, but the country’s attention honed in on the issue over the last week following President Donald Trump‘s hospitalization with the illness.
The virus swept through Trump’s orbit in recent days, with more than 10 senior aides, campaign staffers and other Republicans infected. (The source remains unclear, though many of them attended a Sept. 26 event at the White House showing attendees in close proximity and without masks.)
Because of the president’s health scare, the Commission on Presidential Debates took extra steps to ensure there were limited risks with meeting for the in-person event, including clear plexiglass dividing the candidates.
Harris, 55, and Pence, 61, will also sit more than 12 feet apart.
Here’s what you need to know about how to watch the debate, what the candidates will discuss and what safety precautions the debate commission is taking.