WINNIPEG -- With Black Friday coming up, Manitoba’s top doctor is urging Manitobans not to take part in Black Friday sales and shop only for essential items.

Speaking on Tuesday, Roussin noted several businesses have already started advertising their sales for one of the biggest retail days of the year, including in-person sales happening on Nov. 27.

“I think I want to be really clear here; with the numbers, this is irresponsible,” he said after announcing seven more COVID-19 deaths and 270 more cases of the virus in Manitoba.

“We can’t accept this. We’re in code red in Winnipeg right now, we have people dying every day, we have our health-care workers telling us that they’re reaching their limits. This isn’t the time for having a large, in-person sale for non-essential goods or services.”

Under current public health orders in Manitoba, retail stores can only open if they’re deemed essential and must be only filled at 25 per cent capacity.

“They must ensure their patrons are keeping that two-metre distance,” Roussin said. “We need all Manitobans, including businesses, to do their part. This is a critical juncture for us.”

Roussin added if businesses violate the rules, they can be subject to enforcement and fines.

“We may just reconsider what those categories of essential businesses are and the rules that govern them,” he said. “It’s very critical that we act now. Staying home, only going out for essential purposes."

“Going out for a Black Friday sale for non-essential things isn’t what qualifies for that.”

Roussin noted curbside pickup and delivery are options for purchasing items.

Premier Brian Pallister said he will have more information on Wednesday about the restrictions on what businesses are able to sell.