The Church of God Restoration has received two more fines following another drive-in service Sunday morning, in the Rural Municipality of Hanover.
The Church is located off Highway 12, about nine miles south of Steinbach. This Church continues to meet Sunday mornings, even though a Public Health Order in Manitoba does not currently allow this to happen.
Manitoba's Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, Dr. Brent Roussin tried to clarify on Monday why church services are not currently allowed, yet a lot of retail remains open in Manitoba.
"(With) retail, yes there might be many cars in the parking lot," he says. "There could be a number of people in the store at the same time, but they are not all there together for a prolonged period for that entire time."
Dr. Roussin says evidence from the last nine months shows faith-based gatherings can be super spreader events. He notes this should not come as a surprise because COVID-19 is spread with prolonged indoor contact.
Dr. Roussin was also asked why a drive-in church service is not allowed, yet hundreds of vehicles were able to participate in a rally on the Perimeter Highway this last weekend, to show their support for farmers living in India.
"I can't speak to the enforcement of specific rallies," he says. "That would be up to the enforcement side of things on what they are addressing in that aspect."
However, he notes any time you have a large number of people gathering for a long period of time, it increases the risk for the spread of COVID-19.
"I would say that if we have a large amount of people gathering for a long period of time, that increases the risk," Roussin says. "Certainly if everyone stays in their car the entire time if it's only household members within that car for the whole time then that dramatically reduces the risk. So these are things that we're looking at."