March 12 (UPI) -- The Democratic National Committee said Thursday it will stage Sunday's primary debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at CNN's Washington, D.C., studio without a live audience, as a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The party also said Univision anchor and moderator Jorge Ramos "was in proximity with someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus," and would not participate in the debate. Anchor Ilia Calderon will fill in as moderator.
"Our number one priority has and will continue to be the safety of our staff, campaigns, and all those involved in the debate," DNC spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement.
The Biden and Sanders campaigns requested the move, she added.
The debate was originally scheduled to be held in Phoenix with a live audience ahead of next Tuesday's Democratic primaries in Arizona, Florida, Ohio and Illinois. Both candidates also canceled rallies two days ago after primaries were held in six states.
Sunday's debate will air at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday on CNN.