The University of Florida said Tuesday its football team has experienced an increase in positive COVID-19 tests among players.

What You Need To Know

  • New cases reported among UF players

  • Gators were to host LSU this weekend

  • UF coach Mullen criticized for suggesting full house at The Swamp

As a result, team activities are "paused" as of Tuesday afternoon, the school said in a statement.

In test results available as of Monday, UF reported five new positive cases, according to its weekly update. By late Tuesday afternoon, that number was up to 19, according to sources confirmed by The Associated Press and the Tampa Bay Times..

The Gators lost their most recent game, Saturday at Texas A&M.

Head coach Dan Mullen has been in communication with players and their parents, Athletics Director Scott Stricklin said. The school has also spoken with the Southeastern Conference office, Texas A&M, and this week's opponent, LSU, he said.

The school said circumstances will be re-evaluated by UF Health and the athletic department's sports medicine staff Wednesday.

Mullen drew nationwide backlash for saying UF’s administrators should open Ben Hill Griffin Stadium up to its full capacity of more than 88,000 fans, as allowed by Gov. Ron DeSantis' continued push to reopen the state. UF has said its COVID-19 protocols remain in effect, limiting capacity to about 17,000.

Mullen didn’t double down on those comments Monday, but he didn’t back down, either.

Mullen brushed aside criticism for his postgame comments and praised his players for how well they have handled safety protocols.

“I think if you look at what we’ve been able to do, the safety precautions we have that our players have followed, our coaches follow, our staff follows, you know, I think we’re a model of safety of what we’ve been doing during this time period,” Mullen said.

-News partner Tampa Bay Times, along with the Associated Press, contributed to this report.