Can confirm that Canada is not doing tests unless you present several high risk factors. Grumpy's coworkers lost their collective little minds and physically exiled him from the store because he had a runny nose (not a typical symptom of COVID-19). He went to the doctor, said "I have a mild cold or seasonal allergies, please test me and give me a note to say that I don't have The Plague," the doctor said he didn't have enough risk factors to waste a test on him. I get the desire for limiting the use of tests because I'm sure there's thousands of hypochondriac idiots demanding a test every day even though they're obviously not infected. I don't have the expertise in epidemiology to comment on how effective it is, so, meh.
I used to work in medical research and the amount of fucking hysteria is insane. No, the surgical masks do not protect you from infection. The reason why doctors/researchers wear them is because doctors/researchers also wear lab coats that cover from thigh to wrist, gloves, goggles that cover cheek to eyebrow, and sometimes also caps and/or pants and/or shoe covers. Together, these items create a disposable/cleanable/autoclavable barrier that can come in contact with a hazard and be shed before the doctor retreats to a "safe"/"low hazard" place, which reduces the rate of transmission of the hazard between the high hazard/low hazard areas. Doctors/researchers also receive training in how to prevent/reduce biohazard transmission, how to use the equipment properly, where to use it and what constitutes a different hazard zone, and, most importantly, how to remove it and dispose of it, and have the tools and means of doing so. Just the mask that you put on and take off whenever you feel like it isn't gonna do jack shit.
My coworkers (I work in a library and my job is public-facing and idiots DO come to the library sick all the time so they can "get some entertainment while they're sick at home") are all wearing gloves now - which is, fair enough, we handle a lot of shit that comes from other people who may have just coughed/sneezed on the thing before handing it to us. I'm like, great, let's lay down some ground rules on how to use rubber gloves - how to take them off, where are the "high hazard" and "low hazard" areas between which the gloves get taken off/put on... and they're all like "no that's too much to remember." Uh, if you're not going to use the equipment correctly, there's no fucking point in using it at all.