DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced a declaration of local disaster for public health emergency late Thursday night.

This after he announced five additional coronavirus cases in Dallas County, bringing the total to eight.

The latest patients are a woman in her 70s, one man in his 40s, one man in his 50s, one man in his 60s  and one woman her 60s.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins (CBS 11)

One of the new cases has no travel history, meaning there has been community spread.

Two of the patients are hospitalized.  Three are isolating at home.

Four of the five are Dallas residents. One is from Balch Springs.

“We have community spread so now it is incumbent on all of us to do everything we can to keep it from spreading,” said Judge Jenkins.

The decision on the declaration came after consultation with state health leaders and Dallas County Health and Human Services.

“While we are disheartened by likely community spread, this was expected given what we have seen in other communities around the country and the world. I urge all residents to continue assessing their personal risk, and individual mitigation activities they can do reduce their own risk. Personal actions around basic hygiene and social distancing are some of our best public health tools,” added Dallas County Health and Human Services Director, Dr. Philip Huang.

Effective at 11 a.m. Friday, March 13 to 11 a.m. on Friday, March 20, residents are prohibited from community gatherings of more than 500 people.

Judge Jenkins said gatherings of 250 or more people are discouraged in Dallas County, but not prohibited.

“It is a serious situation and one that will get worse before it gets better,” Judge Jenkins said. “There are a lot of people that still don’t understand the gravity of the situation.”