OTTAWA -- With less than two weeks to go until classes officially start at Algonquin College, some students are already back in school making up for lost time.

The culinary program has invited students affected by the COVID-19 lockdown in March to complete the projects they need to finish for their first semester before heading into their second semester this September.

The returning students are also getting a preview of what classes will be like in this new era of COVID-19.

To protect students and staff from COVID-19, Algonquin has implemented a number of strict measures.

Mask use is mandatory, physical distancing is encouraged whenever possible and there are reminders all around campus to wash your hands and keep your distance from each other.

Class sizes have been adjusted and online learning options have been increased. Students returning say they feel comfortable with the new health measures that have been put in place.

"I work in a long term care and so I’ve seen for the last five months how we’ve been adapting to this situation,” said Katherine Noguera, an Algonquin College student. “What I’ve seen here is pretty much the same."

The coordinator of the culinary program, Cory Haskins feels Algonquin College has done a thorough job in getting ready for the return of students in September.

“All the students and faculty had to do COVID training online before we came back on campus,” Haskins said. “The first thing is to stay away if you are ill, the second is social distancing and the third is clean, clean, clean.”

Coming back to class Sean Sullivan has noticed big changes that he sees as the new normal.

“Before when we were in our lab there was like four or five of us at a table,” Sullivan said. “Now there is six of us in the lab and we each get our own station.”

Most classes return to the Woodroffe campus of Algonquin College on Sept. 9.