DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – City leaders in Dallas are currently dealing with spikes in COVID-19 and crime at the same time heading into the holidays.

Mayor Eric Johnson addressed the issues on Wednesday.

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He said back in March he was locked in a debate with city council over a local state of disaster order regarding COVID-19. Now, eight months later, the city still finds itself with rising case counts and overburdened hospitals.

Dallas County has seen 111,174 total cases of the virus and 1,147 deaths. On Monday, the county reported a record daily count of 1,831 new cases. And before that, it reported 1,458 cases on Sunday and 1,543 on Saturday.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, officials have warned residents to avoid large gatherings even those involving family.

“The situation just as I said eight months ago is serious. And I am imploring our residents of this great city, especially as they consider whether or not they should gather together with their friends and family next week, to take this virus seriously,” Johnson said.

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Johnson said he fears Dallas has not seen the worst of the virus. He is urging residents to hold on a bit longer until a vaccine is in place before they let up on social distancing and face coverings.

The mayor also addressed the current surge in violent crime throughout the city. He said statistics show there are currently more murders in Dallas than in all of 2019, with a month and a half remaining of 2020.

Johnson said since he became mayor it has been his request for the Dallas Police Department to engage in the active pursuit of criminals. And as police Chief Renee Hall is on her way out, he said she now agrees to an all-hands-on-deck approach.

“While I am glad to hear those words, the reality is we are long overdue for this approach to violent crime in our city,” Johnson said.

The mayor said he has also requested the city manage to provide a monthly report of statistics so they can see the progress the city is making in fighting violent crime, which will then be reported to the public.

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