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Florida athletics seeing a rise in COVID cases

The University of Florida ended activities with its lacrosse and baseball programs.
Credit: AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
A pylon stands in the corner of an end zone at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium before an NCAA college football game between Florida and Charleston Southern Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Gainesville, Fla.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The school reported 61 new positive cases Tuesday, including six for the football team a little more than a week before its season opener at Ole Miss. The spike in infections coincided with the return of students to campus and the start of classes.

The Gators ceased activities with the school’s lacrosse and baseball programs due to dozens of positive results. Lacrosse reported 31 coronavirus cases, and baseball had 15.

The women’s soccer team had three cases, leading to the cancellation of Saturday’s season opener at Missouri. Multiple players were quarantined because of contact tracing with infected teammates.

Florida performed 230 tests in September on football players, yielding seven positive cases.

Football coach Dan Mullen said Monday he was pleased with how his players have avoided exposure to the virus. The team had 21 positive cases once players returned to campus in late May, but it didn’t have a single positive in August.

Mullen credited his players. He said anytime 50,000 students are on campus "you’re going to have a spike. Our guys, we have a minor one."

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported the FAU football team canceled its scheduled Tuesday practice after "a number of student-athletes" tested positive for COVID-19 the day prior.

Another round of testing will be performed Wednesday, the newspaper reported.

It reportedly is the second time FAU had to stop practices after some players tested positive for the virus.

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