Florida coach Dan Mullen announced Saturday he has tested positive for COVID-19, the latest hit to a football program that has been severely affected by the coronavirus spread.
Mullen said on Twitter that his positive test has been confirmed and he is self-isolating from his family members, who are healthy. Sources told ESPN that Mullen has been isolating since Thursday.
“Thank you Gator Nation for all your support for the program this week,” Mullen posted on Twitter. “Thankfully, everyone impacted is recovering well and has experienced mild to no symptoms. I have also tested positive for COVID and have received word that my test 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 [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and our public health officials. I am proud of how our players, staff and campus community have navigated this unprecedented time and hope all continue to be safe.”
Earlier in the week, Florida paused all football activities and its game against LSU was postponed because of a wave of positive coronavirus tests that left the program with fewer than the conference-mandated 53 scholarship players. As of Wednesday, 21 players and two coaches had tested positive. Mullen’s tweet is the first update given by Florida since then.
The SEC had also postponed the No. 10 Gators’ game game against Missouri from Oct. 24 to Oct. 31. The LSU game has tentatively been rescheduled for Dec. 12.
Mullen, 48, also said those players who have tested positive have experienced either mild or no symptoms.
Mullen took a heavy amount of criticism last week after a loss at Texas A&M, saying the crowd noise had an impact on the game while calling for the Gators to “Pack the Swamp” for the visit from LSU. Mullen backtracked from those comments only Wednesday, saying his initial statement was not a demand for increased attendance at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, adding, “I certainly apologize if I offended people.”
Florida has no plans to increase its attendance at this time.
“It can sneak up on you on a hurry, as I said,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin, who had coronavirus during the summer, said on a video call Wednesday. “The key thing is you’ve got to have the ability to push the brake when things start to occur like we’re seeing right now.”