• Five cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in Alameda County, according to the health department — each case described as "mildly symptomatic." County health officials noted that at least a dozen local COVID-19 cases have been connected to an out-of-state wedding where one guest had recently returned from international travel; the 12 people have all been reportedly vaccinated and most of them have received a booster shot; none have been hospitalized. [KRON4]
  • One in four children in Sonoma County has now been vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 9,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 11 years old are reportedly fully vaccinated against the novel disease. [KPIX]
  • From walking through a winter wonderland in Foster City to skating Union Square's ice rink, here's a hyperlocal list of seasonal to-dos this holiday season. [Hoodline]
  • These new "pudgy" cookies (plumped with all sorts of fillings) at Cupertino's Batch 22 Bakery look indulgently delicious. [Eater SF]
  • Researchers at the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory in Omaha are working around the clock searching for the Omicron variant and making sense of their findings — which, presently, point to the fact that it spreads more than twice as quickly as the Delta strain. [NYT]
  • Paved roads, fence work, and cattle farming threaten the existence of the Piripkura Indigenous Territory in the Brazilian Amazon — home to one of the most vulnerable indigenous tribes in South America. [Mongabay]
  • Welcome to the climate crisis: Nearly a foot of snow is expected in Hawaii over the weekend — while Denver will remain mostly snow-free. [CNN]

Photo: Getty Images/Sundry Photography