Mayor Skips Quarantine, Maskless at Meeting After Trip Through AZ
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS — Mayor John “Jack” DeLorenzo drew criticism from a council member when he showed up at a council meeting without a mask after a trip he said took him through Arizona.
Arizona is one of 33 states and jurisdictions from which visitors or residents, when coming to New Jersey, are directed to quarantine for 14 days to help reduce the transmission of novel coronavirus. The state's quarantine advisory says the self-quarantine "is voluntary, but compliance is expected." Gov Phil Murphy has asked those affected "to practice self-responsibility" and to also get a COVID-19 test.
DeLorenzo, a Repubican, was asked by Democrat councilman Chris Hillmann about the trip to Arizona as Tuesday's meeting got underway, as seen in a video of the meeting.
"I drove through those states," DeLorenzo said. "You had the option. You didn't have to come. You could have called in." State officials have said those traveling through affected states for business, such as truckers, aren't required to quarantine.
"You should be inside at your house," Hillmann said.
"That's debatable," DeLorenzo said.
Other council members and borough administrators at the meeting wore masks except when they spoke and were spaced out. According to the borough website, masks are required to be worn by those in the building, temperatures were to be taken at the meeting and contact information was to be collected.
Hillmann on his Facebook page said DeLorenzo did not wear a mask for the second live meeting in a row.
"To make it worse, he also returned from Arizona on Sunday. No quarantine," Hillmann wrote. The councilman said there were people in the audience in their 70s and 80s with unknown medical conditions. One person had a family member that died because of COVID-19, according to Hillmann.
"As it was said to me later, how can other groups enforce a quarantine when even our mayor disregards. Total lack of respect and leadership. If you see him coming towards you, I’d make sure to stay 6 feet away," Hillmann wrote.
Hillmann is also the director of Legislative Affairs at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, according to his Facebook page.
DeLorenzo and Hillmann have not yet returned messages Monday morning.