The Florida Gators have had at least 19 positive tests over the past several days

By Nicholas Rice
October 14, 2020 02:14 PM
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The University of Florida has stopped football practice for their players after an increase in positive COVID-19 cases on the team.

According to a news release from the Florida Gators on Tuesday, the football team "experienced an increase in positive COVID tests among players" and paused team activities "out of an abundance of caution."

The news comes just days before they are scheduled to play Louisiana State University, which has now been postponed.

The Sunshine State's football team — including players, coaches, and personnel — has had 19 positive tests over the past several days, a source told ESPN's Andrea Adelson, who confirmed a prior report by The Independent Florida Alligator.

The release added that UF head coach Dan Mullen has been in communication with football players and their parents, as well as with the Southeastern Conference office, last week's Gators' opponent Texas A&M, and LSU.

The school's statement also noted that UF Health and the athletic department’s sports medicine staff will reevaluate the situation on Wednesday.

Florida Gators
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Earlier this week, prior to news of the positive COVID cases, Mullen praised the way his team has handled their health amid the ongoing pandemic.

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"If you look at what we've been able to do ... I think we're a model of safety of what we've been doing during this time period,'' Mullen said, according to ESPN. "I'm really proud of how we've handled everything and how safe we've been with everything we're doing and all the precautions we've had in place during this time."

Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork also issued a statement after learning of Florida's COVID-19 cases, addressing any potential impact on the team.

"We have been in touch with officials at the University of Florida and have also reviewed the available data from the Kinexon contact tracing system deployed by the SEC," Bjork said. "At this point, there has been no impact within our football program, but we will continue our regular testing regiment [sic] this week and stay diligent with all of our safety protocols."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication.

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