For some, Illinois has always been "open" but it is about to be 100% official. Don't be surprised if there are crazy amounts of gathering this weekend.

It has been almost 15 months since Illinois shut down, putting the brakes on many events and activities, ultimately costing tens of thousands of jobs. Many of us did our best to navigate through "unprecedented times", a phrase I would prefer to never use or hear again.

For more than a year we've been inundated with press conferences that, in my opinion, left many wondering, "Ok, well what does that mean exactly?" All the capacity limits, all the phases, and what they entail. The amount of information we had to soak into our brains was at times overwhelming. To no surprise, some Illinoisans had enough and started doing their own thing and making their own rules when it came to COVID-19 protocol. Not the best idea during a pandemic but understandable.

What "Phase" Are We In and What Is Next?

Currently, the Land of Lincoln rests in the 'Bridge Phase" where gatherings are limited to less than 1,000 or 60% capacity.

A news report this week quotes Illinois Governor Pritkzker as saying COVID cases continue to drop, and so does the number of COVID-19 patients in the state's hospitals.

Gov. Pritzker said he checked the metrics this morning and cases are continuing to decline. He also said the number of people in hospitals with COVID is also declining.

So what's next? No. Restrictions.

Earlier this week J.B Pritzker said Illinois is on track to enter "Phase 5" by Friday, June 11, 2021. In simpler terms, Illinois is back to business by this weekend.

10 Hilarious Badly-Timed Photos of Illinois' Governor, J.B. Pritzker

Here are 10 photos of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker taking at an inopportune moment or a decent photo taken out of context. 

{h/t KTVI]