'Big Climb' fundraisers in Seattle postponed over coronavirus fears

SEATTLE -- The Big Climb fundraising events in Seattle have been postponed as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow in western Washington.

The first Big Climb event, in which 2,100 firefighters from 27 states and six countries race up the stairs of Columbia Tower to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, was set for March 8.

The second event, the civilian climb, was scheduled for March 22.

Organizers said there were more than 5,000 people registered for both events. They decided to postpone so that firefighters and other first responders would remain available to "perform critical duties for their communities."

In Kirkland, where there's a coronavirus outbreak tied to a nursing home, 29 first responders - including 26 firefighters and 3 police officers - are quarantined after responding to calls at LifeCare Center where the outbreak occurred. Of those 29 quarantined, 12 were showing flu-like symptoms as of Wednesday morning (March 3).