With coronavirus cases spreading among White House staff, the Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed Monday evening that a Plexiglas partition will be used on stage during Wednesday’s vice presidential debate.
Peter Eyre, a senior adviser to the debate commission, said that the candidates will be seated 12 feet, 3 inches apart, and that there will be no handshakes allowed on stage between the candidates or moderator.
Eyre added that the candidates, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris, will be tested for the coronavirus before the debate. For the previous debate, the candidates were responsible for their own coronavirus testing.
Only the candidates and moderator will be allowed to not wear a mask during the debate, also a change from last week’s presidential debate. During last week’s presidential debate, members of President Donald Trump’s entourage took off their masks during the debate.
Eyre said that a small number of ticketed guests will be allowed into the debate hall in Utah.
“If anyone does not wear a mask, they will be escorted out,” Eyre confirmed.
Plexiglas was also used in last Saturday's US Senate debate between Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Jamie Garrison.
A Pence aide said a divider was "not needed."
“If she wants it, she’s more than welcome to surround herself with plexiglass if that makes her feel more comfortable,” Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, told the Washington Post. “It’s not needed.”