It's all traditional horse and buggy. It used to take a few weeks for the mail to travel and for patent applicants and the USPTO to get their mail all the way in D.C. and then all the way to those far out country outposts on the frontier. The patent bar and community seems to want to keep it this way. It's very quaint.
The "Issue Notification" informs applicants of the patent number and issue date that has been assigned to a utility, design, plant, or reissue application. The "Issue Notification" is now being mailed about 10 days before an application issues as a patent.
i would say there is a 99.5% chance the approval will be done... of course 100% when we see the announcement. The process is tedious and goes through multiple steps as with any patent. To equate it in football terms, we are on the goal line, running back has just taken the ball in, all we need now is the referee to blow the whistle and call touchdown..lol