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Utahn with COVID-19 warns young people to heed warnings

Matt Newey, 23, tested postive for COVID-19 after a weekend ski trip in Colorado

CENTERVILLE — A 23-year-old diagnosed with coronavirus is urging young people to take the virus seriously.

“I was blown away. At first I thought it was just some kind of flu bug, but I had no idea it would be COVID-19.”

Matt Newey, 23, is the 78th confirmed case of coronavirus in Utah. He said he started feeling sick on Tuesday. Newey woke up with a headache, fever, and body aches. Then the symptoms worsened. Newey said the tightness in his chest was like breathing through a straw.

From quarantine in his basement, Newey has a warning for young people out there to take recommendations from health officials seriously.

He urges, “I’d warn us to be careful for those who are more susceptible. Those who are older and who may have health problems. We got to make sure we stop the spread so it doesn’t get to them.”

Newey said social distance and caution are what will keep older generations safe.

He was tested earlier this week during a routine appointment with his doctor. Newey said the topic of the virus came up and then he mentioned some of the symptoms he was experiencing.

“I had mentioned that I felt kind of foggy and fatigued the previous day,” Newey tells Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL Newsradio. “He said ‘hey, let’s check your temperature’….and I had a fever, so he immediately tested me.”

The results came back the next day. Needless to say, he was surprised.

“I had no idea,” he says. “I mean, I knew whatever sickness I was having was interesting, because my body’s never experienced anything like it.”

Newey isn’t sure how or where he would have contracted the virus, but he suspects it might have been a trip he took over the weekend.

“I went on a ski road trip to Colorado, and I may have been exposed somewhere in Colorado while skiing,” he assumes.

Newey says the severity of his symptoms has diminished and expects to recover fully.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus 

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading: 

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Don’t touch your face. 
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot. 

Resources for more information: 


State of Utah: 

Utah State Board of Education 

Utah Hospital Association 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization 

Cases in the United States