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23-year-old after recovering from COVID-19: 'Young adults, we are not invincible to this'

Matt Newey tells reporter Danielle Kreutter that he believes his group of friends all...
Matt Newey tells reporter Danielle Kreutter that he believes his group of friends all contracted the virus while skiing in Steamboat Springs the weekend of March 13-15. "At the time, social distancing wasn't emphasized that clearly, there was no stay-at-home order or anything like that, so we would go to these restaurants and get food and the lines we were in were just jam-packed with people." The resort would be closed down that weekend as the coronavirus really began to take hold in Colorado. At that time, the mountain communities were the hardest-hit locations in the state. (KKTV)
Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 9:02 AM MDT
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More and more people are beginning to recover from the COVID-19 virus.

11 News reporter Danielle Kreutter spoke with one of these newly-recovered patients, who lives in Utah but believes he contracted the virus while visiting Colorado's high country.

Matt Newey tells Kreutter he was visiting Steamboat Springs the weekend of March 13 -- the last weekend the resort was open before shutting down for the burgeoning outbreak.

Newey left Colorado Sunday. By Tuesday, he was feeling foggy-headed and weak.

"The only symptoms I had at that point was a really bad headache and muscle aches."

The following day, he went to the doctor, where it was confirmed he had a 101 fever. He was given a flu test, and then when that came up negative, he was tested for coronavirus.

"I tested positive and I was just in shock. My heart was pounded and I just started recollecting, 'Who have I been in contact with?'"

All of the friends he'd been with on his skiing trip ended up testing positive for the virus. They believe they contracted it on that trip.

"Before I got infected and everything, I was like, 'Dang it, I'm so bummed these ski resorts are getting shut down. My season's over!' But now if you look at the big picture it's like, "Man, I wish they shut down earlier."

Newey says while he was sick, he suffered headaches, weakness, difficulty breathing, and also lost his sense of taste.

"I just ate a whole lemon and didn't even pucker."

Newey has exercise-induced asthma but didn't experience any complications severe enough to require hospitalization. He tells Kreutter he was able to tough it out at home, quarantined in his family's basement.

Newey is now feeling better for the most part, though he is still having slight difficulty with breathing. He's been approved to leave quarantine and is now spending his time helping his at-risk neighbors with errands so they don't have to go out in public.

At just 23, he wants to remind fellow young people that they are not immune to getting the virus or experiencing serious symptoms from it.

"People my age, young adults, we're not invincible for this."

And a reminder to social distance.

"We can be a vehicle for the virus that may eventually spread to our loved ones."