Knights CEO Phil Gardner is hopeful the club's huge fan-base will turn out to support their team at McDonald Jones Stadium against the Warriors on Saturday despite concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
Gardner said there has been no suggestion of fans being locked out of the club's opening round clash at this stage but he did not rule out the possibility of the Knights playing to empty stadiums or the NRL competition being suspended in the future if the health scare deepens.
"We are alert but we are not panicking," Gardner told the Newcastle Herald.
"At this stage, we only know of one confirmed case in our region and that's someone who has been to China and back and that person is in isolation. We are in daily contact with the NRL, they have a working party in operation with the AFL and are liaising with the Federal and State governments around the issue.
"Certainly, as the incidence of the virus gets higher, there will be other steps taken. We are doing everything we can to protect the players to make sure it's a safe workplace and to make sure the stadium is safe.
"The last step would be to play to empty stadiums or to suspend the competition altogether and obviously, we hope it doesn't come to that but it's certainly a possibility.
"If we were to end up with a whole lot of players infected, suspending the competition would obviously be a step that would be seriously looked at."
Gardner said the club is focused on protecting the playing group from infection as much as possible and he addressed the team following their final training session at the stadium on Friday morning.
"We are doing everything in our power to isolate the playing group as much as possible," he said.
"We've stopped public visits to schools and hospitals and those sorts of things and internally, we'll be taking all the measures we can to keep the players shielded.
"But even with all the best of intentions, we could end up with some infections and then we will have to manage that the best we can.
"We have told the players they can acknowledge the fans but only from the field. Unfortunately, there'll be no selfies, no shaking hands, no close interaction and we'll be isolating them from the crowd coming and going.
"Not that we are particularly concerned about this game but we want to set an immediate standard for the whole season because the expectation is infection rates will go up the closer we get to the flu season."
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