GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida coach Dan Mullen announced Saturday he has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the latest person impacted by the outbreak within the Gators football program.
Mullen said his initial positive test result was confirmed.
"I'm continuing to self-isolate from my family, who all remain healthy, and am following all the guidelines set forth by UF Health, the CDC and our public health officials," Mullen said in a statement. "I am proud of how our players, staff and campus community have navigated this unprecedented time and hope all continue to be safe."
An outbreak among the UF football team prompted the school to suspend all team activities and postpone Saturday's game against LSU and next week's game against Missouri.
Coming off a disheartening loss at Texas A&M, the Gators (2-1) would have had fewer than 50 scholarship players available to face the Tigers (1-2) in the Swamp. UF also would have had at least three coaches absent, with Mullen previously saying two assistants tested positive.
UF's medical staff has not pinpointed the exact origin of the Gators' outbreak but surmised it began with a couple of players — one experiencing congestion and another a headache late last week. Suspecting an allergy or seasonal cold, neither reported the symptoms before the team traveled during the weekend to Texas A&M for the game.
UF athletics director Scott Stricklin said Wednesday that 21 players, including 18 scholarship athletes, had tested positive for COVID-19 at that point. Those infected players plus those in quarantine due to contact tracing and a handful nursing injuries would have left UF with fewer than the 53 scholarship players the SEC requires a team to field.
Stricklin said at the time everyone associated with the program who tested positive was asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.
He is the fifth coach to test positive for COVID-19, joining Alabama's Nick Saban, Florida State's Mike Norvell, Arizona's Kevin Sumlin and Kansas' Les Miles. However, the Crimson Tide announced Saturday five subsequent negative tests proved that Saban's initial result was a false positive.
Since an outbreak on the Gators was first suspected last weekend, UF began to administer daily tests to determine the extent of the spread, leading to the 48-year-old Mullen's positive test result.
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