Speaking in greater detail than he previously has, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that the state's coronavirus model anticipates the greatest surge in patients between April 10 and April 20, and that as many as 172,000 residents could become infected during the pandemic.

Baker said that the state's model shows "somewhere between 47,000 and 172,000 cases during the course of the pandemic," which he said would be equivalent to between 0.7 and 2.5 percent of the total population of the state. So far, the state has reported 7,738 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The governor also said that the model — built with the help of public health experts, academics and others — indicates that "we need to expand ICU capacity by about 500 beds in the coming weeks." The model is based on data and experiences in Wuhan, China, where the virus originated, Baker said. He noted that there are several important differences between Wuhan and Massachusetts — including a lower population density here, a lower smoking rate and strict social distancing measures enacted sooner.

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Baker said the state's fatality rate is currently lower than average at roughly 1.5 percent. "We know all models are not perfect, but obviously you need to plan for the worst and at the end of the day hope you do not need to go that far," the governor said.

On Wednesday, the Department of Public Health reported that the COVID-19 death count had climbed to 122 in Massachusetts, with 7,738 confirmed cases of the highly-contagious virus. Meanwhile, more than 5,000 people are officially under quarantine in the Bay State while they're monitored for symptoms.

Earlier in the day, Baker's office announced that the state is closing the parking lots at beaches managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation "to reduce large concentrations of people at beaches during the COVID-19 outbreak." The beaches themselves will remain open "to pedestrians for transitory use only (walking, jogging, biking, solitary fishing, etc.)" under the emergency order. Baker's office also announced that DCR on Friday will open some seasonal state parks early and expand access at others "to provide additional open space opportunities for residents to enjoy and alternatives to popular state parks."

Baker has repeatedly said that people should be able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air during the pandemic, but some popular outdoor recreation areas have seen large crowds. At some high-visitation state parks, DCR plans to reduce the number of parking spaces available. The administration recommended that people stay in very small groups, do no participate in activities that include contact with another person, and consider making a trip outside at a less busy time.

"The state parks system has over 450,000 acres of property, and every region of the state contains multiple parks to explore that may be less busy than others in the area," the administration said in its announcement.