No. 10 Florida won’t be playing reigning national champion LSU this weekend after the Gators reported a significant spike in positive COVID-19 tests. The game has been tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12.
Here’s our Q&A to help break it down:
How many players have tested positive?
Eighteen scholarship players and three walk-ons.
How many players are quarantined because of contact tracing?
Athletic director Scott Stricklin did not reveal a specific number during his Wednesday news conference. But there are enough players sidelined that UF fell below the SEC threshold of 53 available scholarship players.
What about coaches and support staff?
Two assistants tested positive, head coach Dan Mullen said Wednesday morning before he knew the latest test results. Mullen said he has not tested positive. Stricklin referenced positive tests involving “some football staff,” too.
Are any of them seriously ill?
All are experiencing either no symptoms or mild symptoms, Stricklin said.
How did this outbreak start?
The Gators aren’t sure yet, but their suspicion is that last weekend’s road trip to Texas A&M played a role in the spread because of the change in routine and the different surroundings that are not as controlled as they are at UF.
Has Texas A&M been affected?
As of Tuesday, no.
When will the Gators return to practice?
We don’t know. All football activities are on an indefinite pause.
Could other games be affected, too?
Maybe. UF is scheduled to host Missouri on Oct. 24. Players who test positive must isolate for 10 days, and quarantining players are out for two weeks. Depending on the exact starting dates and the number of players who are quarantining, it’s possible that UF might not have 53 available scholarship players next weekend, either. Stricklin said he has been in touch with the SEC, and will remain in touch with the league and Missouri about the situation.
How many other games have been postponed this year?
At least 29 football games across the country, according to an unofficial count by the Associated Press' Ralph Russo. That includes three other games involving in-state teams (Florida Atlantic’s games against USF, Georgia Southern and Southern Miss), plus Vanderbilt-Missouri in the SEC. UF previously had its soccer opener postponed because of an outbreak.
What’s happening with the coronavirus on UF’s campus?
Numbers are starting to tick up, according to UF’s dashboard. UF reports 182 positive tests in the past seven days (as of Tuesday). That’s up from 99 in the previous seven days.
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UF will test again until “we feel like we have a handle on (the) spread,” Stricklin said.