Florida reported five new cases of players testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and put all football activities on hold.
The No. 10 Gators are scheduled to host LSU on Saturday afternoon in Gainesville, Fla.
“Out of an abundance of caution, team activities are paused as of Tuesday afternoon,” athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement posted on the school’s athletics website.
“Head coach Dan Mullen has been in communication with football players and their parents, and I have had conversations with the Southeastern Conference office, last week’s opponent Texas A&M, and this week’s opponent LSU.”
The Gators had one positive result last week. The Gators do not identify which players tested positive, citing privacy laws. No other Florida student-athlete tested positive outside of the football players, the school said.
Stricklin said the school’s health division and the athletic department’s sports medicine staff will re-evaluate the situation on Wednesday.
Mullen lauded the university’s safety protocols Monday.
“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. “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.”
Mullen said last week he wanted a full stadium for this Saturday’s game against the defending national champion Tigers, attributing the Gators’ 41-38 loss at Texas A&M to crowd noise. Florida would again limit capacity at the Swamp to 20 percent.
A COVID-19 outbreak among the Vanderbilt football program forced a postponement of the Commodores game at Missouri on Saturday, making it the first SEC game to be postponed because of the virus.