PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona’s surge in COVID-19 cases has mostly come from healthy people ages 20 to 44. Arizona's Family has analyzed the data, and that age group has not just seen an increase, but the numbers have more than doubled in less than two weeks.

Now, a young Valley man home from the hospital recovering from COVID-19 has a warning for other people his age.

“I'm here just to tell you to be responsible,” said 30-year-old Jimmy Flores. “You know I didn't take it seriously. I didn't wear a mask, I didn't social distance, I still went out, and I essentially thought that I was invincible.”

Flores contracted the coronavirus while out at a North Scottsdale bar with friends Saturday, June 6. By Monday, he was feeling lousy. Tuesday, he got tested, and on Thursday, he got the results.

“I'm just a normal guy, right, active, healthy, normal guy, and so when I couldn't breathe. I was just like, how is this happening,” said Flores.

He went from knowing no one with COVID and doubting its legitimacy; to being admitted to the hospital and feeling obligated to share on social media his diagnosis and journey as a cautionary tale for others.

“It blew up. I mean people were like, I mean, people were really like, wow, I can't believe you got it,” said Flores. Flores can now count approximately 15 young, otherwise healthy friends battling coronavirus.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the 20-44 age group accounts for almost half of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the state with 27,943.

“A lot of millennials don't have resources, the time or resources to afford a sickness like this,” said Flores. “I'm going to continue to advocate for, you know, people just being a little bit wiser with COVID.”


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