NJ mayor defends choice not to quarantine after trip to Arizona
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS — A Bergen County mayor has offered an explanation about why he did not wear a mask during a meeting or quarantine after a trip that took him through Arizona.
Gov. Phil Murphy's order mandates that those who travel to states with "significant community spread" of COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. Both Montana and Arizona are on the list, which now includes 33 states plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Mayor John DeLorenzo drew criticism last week from Councilman Chris Hillmann for showing up at a council meeting without a mask.
"I took my family out to Montana and Yellowstone. We have a Class A motor home so we were self-contained the whole time. We specifically chose an outdoor vacation this year so we could avoid crowds and people," DeLorenzo told New Jersey 101.5. "We drove out the north route and drove home the southern route."
A Class A motor home is built on a commercial bus chassis and sleeps up to four people people, according to ExpeditionMotorHomes.com.
The Republican mayor said that almost all the places he and his three children and wife traveled to were contactless.
"The place we stayed in Arizona you had an envelope, they drew a map, you pulled to your site, you paid with a credit card and we were in our own self contained unit the whole time," DeLorenzo said.
No one asked additional questions about the trip and DeLorenzo said if he had stayed at a resort hotspot he would understand the need to quarantine.
"I was in my own motor home with my own family so I really don't feel I was exposed," DeLorenzo said.
DeLorenzo said his family was masked up when they came in contact with other people.
"Most people were really great. They cooperated, people were 6 feet apart just like at our meeting," he said.
DeLorenzo said that he wore a mask into the meeting on Aug. 11 and checked with the people he sat near if they objected to him removing it.
"Even Councilman Lipari who is in his 80s and Councilman DiPisa, Councilman Kistner, Council president Ciocia all said 'no we're coming to the meeting. We're fine. We don't mind,'" DeLorenzo said, adding that he did not see anyone of that age in the audience at the meeting.
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The mayor said he wore a mask when "appropriate" when he was not running the meeting. Video of the meeting shows DeLorenzo wearing a mask at times.
During Murphy's thrice-weekly news briefings, which used to be daily, the governor enters and leaves the room wearing a mask but removes it during the session while he and administration officials give remarks and answer questions from reporters.
Hillmann did not immediately respond to a message from New Jersey 101.5 on Tuesday afternoon.
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