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What time is the vice presidential debate Wednesday night?

Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris face off in their only debate of this election.

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris face-off Wednesday night in the only vice presidential debate.

This will be the first debate since President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 and spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Several other people within Trump's orbit also tested positive since last Thursday.

It's also the first debate since last week's event between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden which quickly turned chaotic, with frequent interruptions by the candidates — particularly Trump.

Here are five basics to know about the debate.

The debate begins at 9 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The event will last 90 minutes with no commercial breaks. It will be aired live on all the major television and cable news networks and online.

USA TODAY Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, who has won multiple awards in her career and interviewed nine different presidents.

As of the time this story was published, the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has sponsored these debates since 1988, has not said what topics will be discussed. The coronavirus and the economy will undoubtedly be two of them.

The commission says the debate will be divided into nine segments of approximately 10 minutes each. Page will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The rest of the time will be used for deeper discussion.

If there are rule changes, the commission has yet to announce what they will be. Ideas that have been rumored, but not made official, include allowing the moderator to cut off microphones, having each candidate give an opening and closing statement and reducing open discussion time.

The stage will look the same as last week's presidential debate, except the candidates will be seated and will be spaced exactly 12.25 feet apart and separated by plexiglass barriers. The Biden-Harris campaign requested the barriers. Pence's team objected to the request, arguing they were medically unnecessary. But the commission had already agreed to the barriers, and Pence’s aides said their presence wouldn’t dissuade him from attending the event. 

The commission has said that, going forward, all audience members must wear masks or they will be escorted out. Several people at last Tuesday's debate were seen not wearing masks.

RELATED: Pence, Harris disagree on plexiglass shield at debate for COVID-19 protection

RELATED: Who is vice presidential debate moderator Susan Page?

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Credit: AP
Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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