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An employee at the Waverly Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, who has not been on the premises since July 23, has tested positive for COVID-19, a company spokesperson said.

Dave Phillips, director of restaurant marketing for Thrive Restaurant Group, which operates the franchise’s 25 Applebee’s in Iowa, said this is the first such case in the chain’s Iowa locations.

He added the employee did not work while symptomatic, and got tested because one of their friends had tested positive.

Phillips said no other employees at the Waverly location has had a positive test.

He added that the affected employee is still quarantined and not allowed back on the premises.

He said the company follows internal safety protocols as well as those of the health department, which had been notified immediately.

Lindley Sharp, the Bremer County Health Department Administrator, could not be reached for comment by press time.

Phillips, the Applebee’s spokesperson, said protocols are followed at the Waverly location.

“The Health Department confirmed we had followed the guidelines,” Phillips said.