"It was just one moment for him", said his niece, Danielle Lopez, KNBC reported.
The 51-year-old, who suffered from diabetes, passed away on June 21 after he was rushed to the hospital when he experienced difficulty breathing, according to NBC Los Angeles.
"He would do anything for everybody", Lopez said.
"It was absolutely preventable", she told the Post.
Family say Macias was diligent for months about minimizing his trips outside the home, knowing his health conditions made him vulnerable. "So he said, 'OK this is my chance to see my friends'".
In his Facebook post, Macias told friends, "don't be a (expletive) idiot like me".
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California was also starting to emerge from shutdown when Macias would have been weighing attendance at the party.
On June 20, Thomas Macias, wrote an impassioned message on Facebook in which he lamented ignoring social distancing guidance.
Riverside County, where Macias lived, entered phase two of California's reopening process in late May, allowing malls and dine-in restaurants to reopen, while businesses like gyms and nail salons were approved the next month.
Lopez, who described Macias as a "fun-loving person", urged others to take COVID-19 seriously.
His family said Macias was upset but blamed himself for breaking quarantine, NBC News reported.
"We should not have opened to begin with", she said.
However, in early June Macias traveled 70 miles to Lake Elsinore to attend a party with a large group of others. Still, he said, Macias took accountability for his actions as evidenced in his Facebook post.
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"In the face of oppression, tyranny from Beijing, Hong Kong has answered with defiance and unity". He said punishments would not include the death penalty, but did not elaborate on further details.
"He used to say opinions don't matter", Lopez said.
She knows people are still resistant to masks, and it frustrates her.
"Our understanding is that a gentleman had called him and said, 'Hey I was at the party, I knew I was positive".
He was tested for COVID-19 on June 16 and received a positive diagnosis on June 18. Soon he was broadcasting his mistake to hundreds of Facebook friends.
"This is no joke", he wrote. If you have to go our wear a mask and practice social distancing.
"Hopefully with God's help", he added, "I'll be able to survive this".
The Post could not immediately verify Macias's cause of death with authorities.
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A Riverside County Office of Vital Records official confirmed to NBC News that Macias died of COVID-19.