32963 Homepage

Want to purchase reprints of your favorite 32963 or photos?

Copies of Vero Beach 32963 can be obtained at the following locations:


Our office HQ: (located at 4855 North A1A)
1. Corey's Pharmacy
2. 7-Eleven

(South A1A)
3. Major Real Estate Offices


1. Vero Beach Book

2. Classic Car Wash
3. Divine Animal
4. Sunshine Furniture

5. Many Medical

Snowbird finds quarantine more strictly enforced in Canada

Photo: Part-time Sea Oaks residents Debbie and Bob Burke emerged from their 14-day quarantine in Ontario Saturday with a hankering for Tim Horton’s doughnuts and iced cappuccino.

Sea Oaks resident Robert Burke reads the electronic edition of Vero Beach 32963 online when he’s back in Ontario for the summer, and when he read in the May 28 issue that no one at the Indian River County Health Department is contacting incoming travelers from COVID-19 hot spots to enforce Florida’s mandatory 14-day quarantine order, Burke shared his own story of how things are different in Canada.

“We have a condo on the ocean and usually spend a couple of weeks at a time, three or four times a year. This March we decided to stay put at Sea Oaks and stayed 12 weeks,” Burke said.

When they returned to their northern home in Campbellville, near Toronto, the couple took their legal duty to stay home very seriously, in part because the gravity of the quarantine regulations sunk in as they crossed the border last month.

“There was zero traffic on the Peace Bridge at Fort Erie,” Burke said, noting that Customs clearance only took seven minutes. “We were greeted by a friendly officer who clearly explained what the 14-day quarantine involved, and how we were protecting others.”

From there, the officer laid down the law.

“They asked who would be in our house and told us absolutely no stops on our way home from the border [were allowed]. We had to ensure we had food shopping organized and a pharmacy to deliver to our home if need be,” Burke said. “We were informed breaching the stay at home could result in up to a $1 million fine! So yes, they got our full attention.”

“We said an oath when we crossed border to follow rules we were given on quarantine,” Bob said.

The Burkes went straight home, after being told they would receive follow-up calls and a visit from the authorities. The first call came the very next day.

“They called three times and the first question was ‘any symptoms?’” Burke said. Other questions included, “Have you got everything you need and are you following protocol? Have you had any visitors? They also informed us a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer was sure to pay us a visit.”

As the quarantine progressed, Burke commented, “the government phone calls seemed like cheerleaders cheering us on.”

The final call came near the end of the two weeks. Burke seemed somewhat disappointed that the Mounties did not come to visit, but the idea that they could show up any moment – not to mention that $1 million fine – was added incentive to stay home.

“Finally, they thanked us for respecting others with this quarantine and wished us the best,” Burke said.

When the Burkes emerged from their two-week quarantine, they celebrated with a trip to Tim Horton’s for doughnuts and iced cappuccino.

Meanwhile, in Vero Beach, quarantine is taken somewhat less seriously.

No one here is checking on travelers coming to Vero from New York City and other areas hit hard by COVID-19 who have been ordered to quarantine.

And yet, on the sheer faith that travelers will comply on the honor system with Gov. DeSantis’ order, the county opened up its 80 registered vacation rentals – including 41 on the barrier island – over Memorial Day weekend, under a plan that would be difficult to enforce, even if someone bothered to try.

Longtime John’s Island resident John Higgs, who founded the Indian River Neighborhood Association but is now retired from politics, called Vero Beach 32963 to voice his opinion that few visitors here are likely to behave like the Burkes and faithfully comply with a quarantine order designed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I am shocked over the county’s permitting short-term rentals without making any position for enforcing the State’s elaborate regulations for sanitation and quarantine,” Higgs said. “It defies belief that someone from New York City ... would make a short-term rental and self-quarantine for two weeks! The effect of this is to endanger all of us who hope to continue to enjoy good health.”

Higgs said he will mitigate his own risk by limiting his time in busy parts of town.