AUSTIN (KXAN) — Both candidates vying to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate will have tested negative for the coronavirus before they meet on the debate stage Friday, according to organizers.

The Texas Senate Debate, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, includes a number of other safety precautions in addition to a doctor’s note from both John Cornyn and MJ Hegar stating they’ve tested negative for the virus. Masks will be worn at all times by the candidates, their staff and those involved in covering and organizing the debate unless people are eating or drinking.

While Hegar, Cornyn, moderators Sally Hernandez and Robert Hadlock from KXAN, Gromer Jeffers Jr. from the Dallas Morning News and others participating in the statewide broadcast will not be wearing masks, each person will have a rapid COVID-19 test to make sure they are negative.

Everyone will also be keeping at least six feet apart and medical professionals will check their temperatures and any symptoms daily during rehearsals and ahead of the debate. Hand sanitizer is provided in the debate, meeting room and preparation areas, which will also be sanitized periodically.

  • State of Texas anchor Josh Hinkle gets his temperature checked during debate rehearsal (KXAN Photo)
  • Socially-distant work spaces during rehearsal for the U.S. Senate Debate - Texas (KXAN Photo)
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant is provided at the U.S. Senate Debate - Texas (KXAN Photo)

People can watch the Nexstar-hosted debate at 7 p.m. CT Friday. It’s being broadcast on 15 stations throughout the state and streamed on their websites.

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