Changes could be coming to public health orders regarding drive-in worship services by the end of next week.

Over the past weekend, at least two churches in Manitoba held in-person worship services. At Springs Church in Winnipeg, one $1,296 ticket was issued. Several other tickets are pending, including individual tickets and a $5,000 business fine. 

"Investigations related to these services are ongoing and further tickets are expected to follow," the province says in a statement.

Six individuals at the Church of God Reformation in the R.M of Hanover received individual tickets. The church also received a $5,000 business ticket.

All these tickets were distributed between November 23 to 29.

"Those gatherings, no matter how much you want them, no matter how important they are, make no mistake they will put you and others at that gathering at risk."

Premier Brian Pallister would not share if the individual tickets given at the churches were to pastors or attendees. A Church of God Reformation pastor was fined last week.

These two churches received attention for their services. Pallister would not comment on if other places of worship received warnings or visits from enforcement officers over the past week.

"I appreciate the work of RCMP in blocking off the parking lot in one particular example. I think preventing people (from) gathering is part of the intention," Pallister says. "We are trying to get the message out there that we need people to stay safe and if we can prevent the people from gathering that is probably better than ticketing after it happened."

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says the Public Health Orders can be adapted as needed, as seen early into the latest orders with the sale of gift cards. For now, the Chief Public Health Officer is not considering allowing drive-in church services during the current restrictions, but the December 11 end date could bring change.

"We are working right now on what the next set may look like and so we will continue to review all these types of issues, including that."

Manitoba is not out of the woods yet despite lower daily case numbers. Roussin says case numbers continue to be too high.

"We are still working on it. We are still interested to see what this trend is, what things will look like through this week, but we were not wanting to see averaging over 300 cases a day at this point," the doctor says.

Pallister hinted at the possibility for the current restrictions to continue past December 11, but Roussin says the province is looking at adapting the current orders to fit needs. 

Roussin is concerned that despite the pandemic, Manitobans may have large Christmas gatherings.

"We know the holiday season is quite meaningful, probably to most Manitobans, and it is going to be a real challenge. We have been at this for nine months and now a holiday season is coming up and I think it is going to be very difficult for people to stay focusses but we need Manitobans to stay focused," Rosin says.

He says the virus continues to be transmitted in a way consistent with what the province has learned, making potential large gathering sizes an issue.

"Those gatherings, no matter how much you want them, no matter how important they are, make no mistake they will put you and others at that gathering at risk."

He says by putting others at risk, all Manitobans are at risk.