SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced that he's suing two gyms that have continued to operate in violation of the governor's anti-COVID stay-home order, but he's giving them a last chance to avoid a fine.

Ferguson said Tuesday that his office had given several warnings to Fitness 101 Team Puyallup, more commonly known as Northwest Fitness Co., and to Power Alley Fitness, or PA Fitness, in Arlington. His office sued them in Pierce County and Snohomish County superior courts, respectively, but he said that if they close down by Wednesday his office won't seek fines or legal fees.

Power Alley Fitness describes itself on its website as a fitness facility that's in a fight with Washington's government over its constitutional rights, and it asks for donations to help pay for legal fees. It calls fitness essential and says it wants to remain open while following social distancing and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Northwest Fitness Company's website advises that “We are not open!” but says gym members can attend “protest hours” every day except Sunday.

The owners of neither gym immediately returned calls seeking comment.

The attorney general's office alleged that by remaining open, the gyms are endangering public health and engaging in unfair business practices because their competitors have followed the state's rules. That violates the state Consumer Protection Act, Ferguson said.

In a news release, Ferguson said his office sent both gyms final cease-and-desist letters last Friday. City officials in Arlington have also warned Power Alley Fitness that it could revoke the gym's business license.

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